Suns-Warriors: What to watch for


Suns-Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Coverage begins at 7 p.m. today with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area with host Greg Papa, Garry St. Jean and NBA Insider Matt Steinmetz.

The Phoenix Suns are currently the 12th-best teamin the Western Conference, and the Warriors are the No. 13 team in the West.Still, both teams have been playing better of late.After a 6-12 start, the Suns have won six of their past nine.The Warriors have won two in a row against Denver and Houston.Here are some things to watch for during the Suns-Warriorsgame on Monday night at Oracle:Play uptempo: These are not the Suns that you might beaccustomed to. They no longer score a lot of points and they no longer look torun at every opportunity even after made baskets.Steve Nash is averaging just 30 minutes per game, and theSuns leading scorer is plodding center Marcin Gortat. In addition to Gortat,the Suns rely heavily on Nash, Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and MichaelRedd.In other words, the faster the pace, the more it willbenefit the Warriors. After all, theyre younger and more athletic than theSuns.Rebound: Rebounding has been an area ofinconsistency for the Warriors, and the Suns are the kind of team that couldmake them pay for that. Among Gortat, Channing Frye, Robin Lopez and MarkieffMorris, the Suns have the ability to dominate the boards.Its up to the Warriors to not allow that to happen.Keep knocking down 3s: Over the past fourgames, the Warriors are shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc (51-for-99). Afair chunk of those makes have been provided by rookie shooting guard KlayThompson, who has made 12 of his past 16 3-pointers.If the Warriors are getting 3-point shots off ofdraw-and-kicks or in transition, thats good news. If the Warriors are getting3-point shots off of the dribble on their own thats not goodnews.Defend Frye: In many ways, Frye cansometimes hold the key to Warriors-Suns games. Hes a 3-point threat so thatmeans that whoever is guarding Frye cannot leave him alone beyond thearc.Early in the game, David Lee will likely get thatassignment. But its difficult to see Warriors coach Mark Jackson settling forthat matchup for an extended period of time.Look for the Warriors to go small playing Lee at center and therefore allow a player like Dominic McGuire (assuming hes healthy) todefend Frye. In other words, it could be a very abbreviated night for Warriorscenter Andris Biedrins, whose minutes are decreasing anyway.

Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'


Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'

There are some people out there who are still extremely bitter about Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors.

An eighth grade Spanish teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma issued a handout on the first day of school.

Part of it read:

DON'T BE A ... Kevin Durant
KD left the OKC Thunder last summer after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Following the end of the season, he decided it was in his best interest to join the very same team that had just knocked him out of the playoffs. Don't be like KD. Don't take the easy way out. Things like cheating, plagiarizing, and copying your friends homework may not seem like a big deal now but they are building habits that can significantly hinder you later in life. Additionally, always strive to finish what you've started. Half-finished homework is unfinished homework. Don't try to turn in an assignment if you have not done what is necessary and expected.

DO BE A ... Michael Jordan
MJ! The GOAT! 6 championships, 4 MVPs. Yadda yadda. The greatest thing this man ever did? Saving the Looney Tunes from a lifetime of servitude to an alien race. Did MJ take the easy way out? Did he ever back down from a challenge? NO! Be like Mike. Learning a new language is a challenging thing and parts of this year are going to be...

And then the words get cut off.

Well, Kevin Durant got wind of this and responded on Twitter:

If anything happens to this teacher, we will let you know...

Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award


Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award

According to NBA players, Andre Iguodala is not the best sixth man in the league.

On Friday morning, Lou Williams was recognized as the "Best off the Bench" player.

At the inaugural NBA Awards Show in late June, Iguodala finished runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year race to Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

Iguodala received 43 first-place votes, 34 second-place votes and nine third-place votes.

Gordon registered 46 first-place votes, 40 second-place votes and eight third-place votes.

Williams was a very distant third with five third-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 15 third-place votes.

He averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists over 58 games with the Lakers last season, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from deep.

In 23 regular season games with the Rockets, Williams averaged 14.9 points and 2.4 assists on 38.6 percent shooting overall and just below 32 percent from 3-point territory.

Against the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, Williams struggled to the tune of 7.3 points per game. He shot 35 percent from the floor and below 18 percent from distance.

Iguodala played arguably his best game of the season in Game 5 of the NBA Finals -- 20 points (9 for 14 FG), four rebounds and three assists.

For the series, his +60 mark led the Warriors by a comfortable margin (Draymond Green +30, Kevin Durant +33, Steph Curry +30, Klay Thompson +22).

Iguodala was rewarded with a 3-year, $48 million contract this summer.

I doubt he cares whatsoever about falling short for this award...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller