Tough stretch for Warriors starts with Jazz

jack_jarrett_warriors.jpg

Tough stretch for Warriors starts with Jazz

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If there’s one guy who embodies the persona of this Golden State Warriors team, it’s Jarrett Jack.

The veteran backup guard is as persevering as he is gritty, and his tell-it-how-it-is attitude is honored in the Warriors locker room.

The 29-year-old, in his eighth season and playing for his fifth team, was counseling rookie Festus Ezeli after Saturday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He wasn’t happy with a couple of plays for himself individually down the stretch, I just shared with him a moment I had my rookie year worse than that,” said Jack, who is averaging 15.5 points and six assists off the bench in December.

The tough overtime loss to the Lakers might be tough to swallow for some of the team’s young players, but Jack’s voice in the locker room was that of moving on and not dwelling.

Soon after, he was chatting with Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes about the loss but more so about the big picture of the team’s direction from there.

Jack made it clear that the Warriors aren’t interested in moral victories, and he feels the team can win every game.

“The NBA has a bunch of ups and downs,” Jack said. “You have to stay on the straight and narrow, and put the last game behind and move forward.”

It was the team’s final game before a mini-break for Christmas that ends tonight for a road game against the Utah Jazz.

Harder from here

The real test begins now.

As the Warriors head into 2013, the schedule makes a dramatic shift to playing more difficult teams. If they were playing junior varsity, they’re now stepping up to varsity.

Eight of the last 12 Warriors’ opponents have held records below the .500 mark at the time the teams met.

The Warriors went 8-4 during that 12-game stretch, including wins at the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, but losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and two to the Orlando Magic.

But if the NBA’s regular season is a challenge of various tests, this midterm exam might be one of the more difficult.

With the season just passing its one-third mark, the Warriors begin a stretch of 10 games that include eight teams above .500. Included in that stretch are road games at the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and home games versus the Boston Celtics, Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Heat.

Starting in Utah

Tonight’s road contest against the Jazz offers a new set of challenges for the Warriors.

Golden State’s frontcourt will be tested by the size and depth of the Jazz. Utah features the tandem of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap that combines for 30 points and 18.3 rebounds per game.

But the depth doesn't end there, as young power forwards Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors, and center Enes Kanter, provide further rebounding and scoring.

Golden State is ranked No. 4 in the league in rebounding and Utah enters tonight ranked No. 8. The Warriors are 17-2 this season when they outrebound their opponent.

David Lee leads Golden State's rebounding efforts at 11.3 per game. The star forward is also averaging 20 points per game and leads the league in 20-point, 10-rebound games.

Follow @jimmypspencer on Twitter for more Warriors news and analysis. Follow along with #warriorstalk during tonight’s game at Utah.

Durant questionable for Monday's game in Philadelphia

Durant questionable for Monday's game in Philadelphia

Kevin Durant's status for Monday's game in Philadelphia remains up in the air.

The Warriors forward, who missed his first game of the season on Saturday, is listed as questionable for the team's game against the 76ers.

Prior to the game against the Nets, head coach Steve Kerr told the media that Durant's left hand was "still a little swollen" and called the injury a "day-to-day" thing.

Without Durant, the Warriors still managed to cruise to a 112-95 win over Brooklyn.

Durant injured his left pinky in the opening minutes against the Clippers on Thursday. He remained in the game, but late in the first quarter, he retreated to the locker room with a member of the training staff.

He returned to the game after X-rays came back negative. He played 34 minutes and finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

 

Report: Bogut expected to join Cavs after 76ers buyout

Report: Bogut expected to join Cavs after 76ers buyout

It appears Andrew Bogut is set to see what the view is like from the other side of the NBA's top rivalry.

Traded by Dallas to Philadelphia on Thursday, the former Warriors center will receive a contract buyout from the 76ers and then join the Cleveland Cavaliers for the stretch run, according to ESPN.

On Saturday, the Cavs, Spurs and Rockets were all reported to have interest in Bogut if he was made available following a buyout.

Injuries have derailed Bogut's season. He appeared in just 26 games with the Mavericks this season and averaged 3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1 block per contest.

Bogut was part of the two Warriors teams that faced the Cavs in the last two NBA Finals matchups.

Bogut's tenure with the Warriors came to an end on July 7, 2016 when he was traded to Dallas in order for Golden State to clear salary cap space to sign Kevin Durant.