Nets vs. Warriors: What to watch for


Nets vs. Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Nets-Warriors coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live. Stick around after the final horn for Warriors Postgame Live!

After finishing their recent road trip with a 2-1 record,the Warriors play the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night. GoldenState will play five of its next six games in Oakland. With a 6-5 record, theWarriors hope to gain some separation with the .500 mark over the next 10days.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesday nightsgame between the Nets and Warriors:Curry vs. Williams: Warriors point guardStephen Curry is coming off his best game as a pro. He scored 31 points andhanded out nine assists in the Warriors 105-101 overtime win against Dallas onMonday.RELATED: Curry's best pro game
More than those numbers was when Curry put up those numbers:When the game was on the line. Curry scored the Warriors final eight points inregulation, then scored or assisted on 13 of the Warriors 15 points inovertime.Of the last 32 points the Warriors scored that game, Curryhad a hand in 29 of them.It doesnt get any easier with Deron Williams coming toOracle. Williams isnt shooting the ball particularly well this season (42.2percent), but nobody doubts that hes one of the best point guards inbasketball. Hes got size, quickness and strength and Curry will have his handsfull.Keep rebounding: Rebounding has been astrength of the Warriors, and theyll need to win that battle against the Nets.Brook Lopez is a legitimate big man, but he is not considered a good rebounderfor his size.The player the Warriors need to neutralize on the glass isathletic power forward Kris Humphries, who hurt the Warriors in a game lastyear in New Jersey.If David Lee can keep contain Humphries on the glass,theres no reason the Warriors shouldnt have an advantage in that phase of thegame.Pick up the pace: The Warriors halfcourtoffense has bogged down at times this season and it seems apparent that theyfunction better in the open court.That would seem to be a solid plan against the Nets becauseBrooklyn is coming off a tough game on Tuesday night in Los Angeles against theLakers -- and their core guys played big minutes.

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant wishes more NBA officials had a better grasp of the language of the game.

They don’t seem to understand that “trash talk” almost always is little more than an act in which healthy emotions are released. It’s as much of the game on the court as pointing out a bad haircut or a fashion error in the locker room.

“I was raised that if you weren’t talking on the court, then something (bad) is going on,” Durant said after Warriors practice on Friday.

Durant caught a glimpse of the chatter earlier this week between former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook and Houston guard Patrick Beverley in decisive Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets series and was disappointed when the officials slapped each with a technical foul.

“I was like, ‘Man, just play on. It’s a part of the game,’” Durant said.

Though Durant himself is not a premier trash-talker, he plays alongside one in fellow forward Draymond Green.

“That’s why we started playing, to talk a little s--- here and there,” said Durant, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area. “Draymond is really good at it. There are a lot of guys in the league that are good. More guys are quiet now than before.

“But s--- talking is a part of the game. I love it. It’s fun when you’re on the same team as a guy that does it. And then, when you’re playing against it, it’s even better because it brings the best out of you.”

For Durant, there always will be a place for trash talk on the court. Not only did he experience it while growing up but he also was indoctrinated in the practice from the moment he arrived in the NBA in 2007.

He recalls, with fondness, being targeted as a rookie by Kevin Garnett and a few other Celtics.

“When I came into the league, that’s when the Celtics had just got together,” Durant said. “Paul Pierce and KG and those guys talked bad to me as a rookie. I was 19. And they talked so bad to me. And I was talking right back. It was just a fun exchange. That’s what basketball is about.”

Now if only he could get officials to realize this.