Warriors notes: Schedule toughens, Udoh's face-up game

653896.jpg

Warriors notes: Schedule toughens, Udoh's face-up game

A little of this and that Warriors-related to get yourMonday going ---The Warriors are 8-13, but thats nottheir biggest issue when it comes to turning the season around. Nope, theirbiggest problem is the schedule ahead. Bottom line is theyve failed to takeadvantage of a favorable early season schedule.The Warriors play four of their next five games at OracleArena, which will mean that through 26 games, they will have played 17 homegames and just nine road games.So, if you do the math, of the Warriors last 40 games thisseason, 24 will be on the road. Over the past three-plus seasons, the Warriorsroad mark is 28-103.

---Ekpe Udoh has had an up-and-downseason, but when hes been good, hes helped the Warriors win games, no doubt.If theres one thing thats been unfair to Udoh, its that, on offense, hesprimarily asked to be a low-post player.Udoh certainly isnt a great low post player, but the factis that hes better than most of his teammates. And, because of that, hesasked to post up more than he should.The reality is that Udohs strength offensively is theface-up jumper, from about 16 to 20-feet. He buried three of those kinds ofjumpers in last Thursdays win over the Jazz, and its how he did a bulk of hisscoring at Baylor. But he hasnt been put in that position enough this year.---Monta Ellis is having an awful yearshooting the ball. Yes, Ellis did a lot early in the season to keep theWarriors afloat, but after 21 games hes shooting just 42 percent from thefield.That would be the lowest field goal percentage by far for Ellis since his rookie season when he shot 41.5 percent from the floor. Buthe was a rookie coming out of high school that year and played just 49games.Ellis came into the season a 47-percent shooter from thefield, so the dip to 42 percent is quite significant. ---Nobodys saying Andris Biedrins ishaving a great season, but he still does certain things better than most of histeammates whether hes playing well or not, apparently.Of the active players on the active roster, Biedrins isfirst in rebounds per minute averaging 13.2 per 48 minutes and second inblocks per minute (behind Udoh) averaging 3.4 per 48 minutes.Add to that the fact that coach Mark Jackson has said onnumerous occasions that Biedrins is the teams best low-post defender and itscurious as to why hes getting fewer than 18 minutes per game.

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

SAN ANTONIO -- Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was officially declared out prior to Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs on Monday night.

Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion is the first half of Game 2 last Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. He has since done very little in practice and was listed as doubtful on the morning injury report.

Though acting head coach Mike Brown did not name backup center JaVale McGee to replace Pachulia in the starting lineup, that is the expectation. McGee started Game 3 on Saturday night and played well.

Brown gave himself some wiggle room, saying the Warriors could opt for rookie wing Pat McCaw if the Spurs start with a small lineup.

“For us, it's not that big of a deal,” Brown said in his pregame news conference. “We're either going to start JaVale or Patrick McCaw. We haven't made a decision yet, and I don't know when we're going to make a decision, but we'll go between those two guys.”

 

Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took a seat at the podium for his pregame news conference and confirmed what had been anticipated for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.

All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will be on the sideline for the third consecutive game.

Leonard twice aggravated his sprained left ankle in the third quarter of Game 1 at Oracle Arena and has not practiced since. Though he was listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report Monday morning -- the Spurs did not have a shootaround -- it was a foregone conclusion he would not play.

Popovich made the announcement by answering a question about Leonard’s status with two words: “Same, same” before confirming he would be out.

The Warriors have outscored the Spurs 302-253 since Leonard left with 7:53 left in the third quarter of Game 1.