Warriors-Clippers: What to watch for

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Warriors-Clippers: What to watch for

What a difference a couple of days make. The Warriors werefeeling pretty good about their season-opening win against the Suns onWednesday a road victory despite Stephen Curry and David Lee not shootingwell but then came the home opener against Memphis on Friday.The Grizzlies beat the Warriors 94-84, and in the process,Golden State likely lost reserve forward Brandon Rush for an extended periodwith a left knee injury.The Warriors will try to pick up the pieces on Saturday nightin Los Angeles against the Clippers. Here are some things to watchfor:The center void: Center Andrew Bogut, whofractured his left ankle in January, is not expected to play in the second gameof back-to-backs for the next few weeks, at least.That means hell sit out Saturdays game, which will put theWarriors in a little bit of a tough spot against a Clippers front-line that isbig and athletic. Both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin are tough matchups onthe interior for Golden State. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said both FestusEzeli and Andris Biedrins will likely play, and both of them will have theirhands full.Stakes raised for Barnes: With Rushexpected to miss significant time, it puts a little more pressure on rookieHarrison Barnes at small forward. Rush was a very nice safety net for Barnes,who has just two games under his belt.RATTO: Does Warriors home opener forecast doom?
Jackson will likely continue to start Barnes, but dont besurprised if we see more Klay Thompson at small forward, playing alongsideStephen Curry and Jarrett Jack.Defending Paul: Clippers point guardChris Paul is one of the most difficult point guards in the league to defend. Hesgot a consistent jump shot and one of the quickest first steps in thegame.Curry will likely get the first crack at Paul, but dont besurprised if Jack finds himself on Paul for a good chunk of the game.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.