Warriors-Grizzlies: What to watch for


Warriors-Grizzlies: What to watch for

The Warriors have lost five consecutive games which equalsa season-high and Tuesday night theyll try to avoid a season sweep at thehands of the Memphis Grizzlies.The Grizzlies already have defeated the Warriors three timesthis season, including two by just one point. Memphis is two games behind thefourth-place L.A. Clippers in the battle for homecourt advantage in thefirst-round of the playoffs.The Grizzlies are playing Game 2 of a back-to-back-to-backset against the Thunder, Warriors and Dallas.Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play theGrizzlies in Memphis on Tuesday:Play uptempo: The Grizzlies are comingoff a hard-fought win against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday. It was agame in which all their key players Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo and ZachRandolph logged significant minutes.In other words, the game against the Warriors has letdownwritten all over it for the Grizzlies. But it will be up to the Warriors topush the tempo and keep the pace moving quickly.Energy from centers: The Grizzlies frontline is big and skilled, but the Warriors should have the advantage when itcomes to energy. Despite giving up size to Gasol, Marreese Speights andRandolph, the Warriors have a chance to mitigate some of that.But it will take plenty of activity from Jeremy Tyler andMickell Gladness, two of the Warriors young centers.Productivity out of RobinsonJenkins:Memphis starting point guard Mike Conley didnt play on Mondaybecause of a sprained right ankle, meaning Jeremy Pargo was the starting pointguard.Nate Robinson emerged from a shooting slump in Sundays lossto the L.A. Lakers, and the Warriors need him and rookie Charles Jenkins to winthat matchup at point guard.Defend Gay: Rudy Gay has a history ofscoring big against the Warriors. And yet Golden State has more than one playercapable of slowing down Gay.Whether its Dorell Wright, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rushor Dominic McGuire the Warriors have plenty of candidates to defend Gay. Whatthey need is to find at least one who can turn Gay into a volumeshooter.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”