Warriors-Timberwolves: What to watch for


Warriors-Timberwolves: What to watch for

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch all the action tonight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Warriors coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Warriors Central. Then get prepared for the game with Warriors Pregame Live at 4:30 p.m. Warriors vs. Timberwolves tips off at 5 p.m. with Warriors Postgame Live airing immediately following the final horn.

The Warriors have lost a season-high six consecutive games,and they will try to avoid a seventh on Wednesday against the Timberwolves inMinnesota.The Warriors will be without point guard Stephen Curry andcenter Andrew Bogut. The Timberwolves, who have lost three in a row, will bewithout point guards Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour and forward MichaelBeasley.They could also be without Darko Milicic and J.J. Barea,both of whom are questionable for Wednesdays game.Here are some things to watch for during tonightsWarriors-Timberwolves game on Wednesday night:Love vs. Lee: Kevin Love has had anincredible statistical season, averaging 26.5 points and 13.6 rebounds pergame. Hes not much of a post-up power forward, but hes become an aboveaverage 3-point shooter and also remains one of the games great rebounders.With the Warriors shorthanded up front, keeping Love from dominating on theinterior will be a challenge.Davie Lee has been the most consistent Warrior player this season,scoring and rebounding virtually each and every game. Lee will likely defendLove for stretches and it should make for a good matchup.Rookie point guard matchup: With bothteams missing point guards, it will come down to two rookies Charles Jenkinsand Malcolm Lee -- starting at that spot.Jenkins has been solid and improving since Stephen Currywent down with an injury, and he seems to be getting a better feel by the game.For one of the few times this season, Jenkins could have the advantage over hisopposition at that position on Wednesday.Play a full 48: The Warriors played wellfor approximately 40 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. GoldenState led the Grizzlies by 12 points with a little over nine minutes remainingbut couldnt close out the game.The Warriors had great difficulty executing on offense whenthe Grizzlies turned up their defense. If the Warriors hope to win a few oftheir remaining 14 games, theyre going to have to maintain some kind of focusfor an entire game.They havent been able to do that in recent games.

Reports: Bogut agrees to buyout with 76ers, considering four teams

Reports: Bogut agrees to buyout with 76ers, considering four teams

Andrew Bogut is reportedly searching for a new home.

The big man agreed to a buyout with the 76ers on Monday and is considering four teams for his next destination, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

Cleveland, Houston, San Antonio and Boston are reportedly in the running for Bogut's services.

On Sunday, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that two of his sources said they expect Bogut to sign with the Cavs.

Last week, Dallas traded Bogut to Philadelphia.

The Warriors are eligible to re-sign Bogut, but Golden State is looking to add a guard in the coming days.

Warriors continue to thrive in their second calling

Warriors continue to thrive in their second calling

Programming note: Warriors-76ers coverage starts today at 3pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Credit must be given to the Golden State Warriors for keeping the brand alive on multiple platforms – to the point where they are now indirectly and barely tangentially linked to the Great Oscars Envelope Piefight.

Stay with us here. We’ll get to it.

The mundane matter of winning has, as expected, taken care of itself. They’ve clinched a playoff berth earlier than any other team, at least in the 16-team playoff era, they’ve hit their full stride with the Kevin Durant trade, they’re nervously navigating the Draymond Green Cavalcade of Technical Fouls, and they have led their supporters into the same old trap of thinking that regular season success is the same as postseason invulnerability.

In that way, they are much as they were a year ago, and the year before that.

But it is their underrated ability to find ancillary links to the world outside the NBA that makes them more than merely, say, the 1983 Fo’-Fo’-Fo’ 76ers.

Steve Kerr has been a political and social critic, and more than once – meaning that he hasn’t stumbled into discussions about the political state of the nation as much as he has leaped into them eyes wide open and feet fireproofed. He has not been tricked into a comment, ever. He says what he wants, and is in that way the management equivalent of . . .

. . . Green, who is more often than not the de facto team spokesman, Pushback Division, in that he will speak to anyone on any subject at any time. He is in many ways the Swiss Army Knife of sound bites, and when he decides to err on the side of volubility does not mind taking on opponents, strangers, his coach and, occasionally even teammates. He is a walking debate about temper management that is either 1 or 1-A to DeMarcus Cousins.

Durant and Russell Westbrook have, less voluntarily, been the subjects of a semi-philosophical debate about loyalty vs. business vs. opportunity vs. abandonment. Much of it has been driven not by them but by us, but we let go of cheap and easy narratives with the same willingness that Rottweilers demonstrate with a burglar’s femur.

JaVale McGee, the backup center, has just now engaged with some force with megabus/provocateur Shaquille O’Neal over O’Neal’s intermittent needling of McGee that finally hit the red, resulting in a unilateral cease-fire imposed by O’Neal’s mother Lucille that has not yet been agreed to by McGee’s mother Pamela. In other words, this is a family thing, with all the landmined dynamics that implies – a sure-fire talker both for those who like their debates either trivialized or broadened to take on larger social themes.

And the Oscars? Well, Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali is a self-admitted huge fan of The Bridge, having grown up in the area, played at Mount Eden High and Saint Mary’s on a ball scholarship, and now he is part of the best Oscars story that doesn’t involve movie junkies since Sacheen Littlefeather rejected Marlon Brando’s Oscar on his behalf. That the Warriors weren’t wearing black armbands Monday night in Philadelphia to protest the envelope screwup is a missed opportunity that only having Ali courtside amid Joe Lacob, Pete Guber, Phil Hellmuth and Beyonce for Game 2 against Denver in April can remedy.

In other words, cue the marketing department.

Next to all this, the arcane notion of the Warriors clinching a playoff spot and being on pace to having the largest margin between conference winner and ninth-place team since Boston (67-15) whipped Cleveland (29-53) in 1986 by a smooth 38 games means – well, next to nothing. Especially since we now know, or should know, that nothing happens until June says it happens.

And if the Warriors are the brand name they occasionally claim to be by being more than just a superb basketball team, they will remain abreast of all social and cultural trends, fitting them as best they can between the 21 remaining off-days as best they can.

It is apparently their second calling – to be small but available thermometers for any subject you’ve got, from the changing nature of basketball to the coming civil war to the death of the sun. It’s a good thing they’ve taken care of the playoff thing; otherwise, there’d be no getting them to maintain focus.