The Warriors took Sunday off, after losing a pair ofback-to-back road games. One was a blowout 120-87 to the Oklahoma CityThunder; the other a closing-second loss to the Memphis Grizzlies104-103.On Monday morning the Warriors will hold shoot-around andthen play the LA Clippers at Oracle that night.After Monday nights game, youre not going to see theWarriors for a while, not at home anyway.The Warriors wont play again at home until March 7 aftersix consecutive road games.
In other words, this is a critical time for the Warriors,currently on a three-game losing streak. As they approach the halfway point ofthis abbreviated season, they are 11-17 and quickly losing contact with .500.And they dont do well on the road just 3-8 so far this year.Their opponents arent a piece of cake, either. After theClippers (third in Western Conference) the Warriors play on the road againstPhoenix (where theyve lost 13 in a row), Indiana (19-12), Atlanta (19-12),Philadelphia (20-11), Toronto and Washington.Once the Warriors come out of that they come home and playthe defending champion Mavericks and then Memphis again. But lets not getahead of ourselves.If the Warriors only get one or two wins on that road trip,the fans are likely to turn their attention away from the playoffs (the oneswho havent already) and towards this summers NBA draft.After all, by that point theyd be nine or 10 games under.500 with more than half the season over. In addition, theyd still have moreroad games remaining than home games. In other words, a tough environment inwhich to go on any kind of extended winning streak.Of course, there will still be interest in how the Warriorsfinish up because it will affect their draft position and whether they evenhave a first-round pick at all.The Utah Jazz will get the Warriors first-round pick if itfalls outside of the top-7. Before Sundays games, the Warriors were tied withCleveland for the ninth-worst record in the NBA.
OAKLAND -- With Kevin Durant out of the Warriors lineup Saturday night with swelling in his left pinky finger, rookie wing Pat McCaw will start at forward against Brooklyn at Oracle Arena.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the announcement two hours before tipoff.
As for Durant, the contusion in his left pinky finger, sustained Thursday, is still in the healing process.
“Kevin’s hand is still a little swollen,” Kerr said. “It’s not anything we want to mess around with. We’ve got a long trip coming up, a lot of games. It made sense to give him the night off. We’ll have tomorrow off, flying in to Philadelphia. So hopefully the next couple days it’ll calm down and be fine. It’s kind of a day-to-day thing.”
The decision to start McCaw -- who often competes with Ian Clark for playing time -- was based mostly on how he matches up against the Nets.
“They both have my trust and my confidence,” Kerr said. “Both of them are very effective. It’s depending what we need. If we need ball movement and cutting, I’m more likely to go to Ian. He’s a great back-cutter and he gives our offense flow and he’ll make spot-up shots. If we need some size defensively, we’ll go to Patrick. They’ve both been effective. I wouldn’t say either one is ahead of the other. They’re both going to play.”
While the Warriors appear to like D-League call-up Briante Weber, they could have a chance to add a veteran point guard to that final roster spot.
Weber's second 10-day contract expires after Saturday night's game against the Nets. If the Warriors chose not to sign him for the remainder of the season, they could pursue veteran point guard Jose Calderon.
Calderon, currently under contract with the Lakers, will reportedly be bought out of his deal in the next few days, according to ESPN.
If Calderon hits the open market next week, the Warriors and Rockets could be among the suitors for his services, according to the report.
The 35-year-old veteran is averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 assists in 12.2 minutes over 24 games this season for Luke Walton and the Lakers.