Warriors vs. Lakers: What to watch for


Warriors vs. Lakers: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Lakers coverage tips off tonight with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

The Warriors play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday nightin a game between two teams facing adversity. The Warriors will be withoutstarting center Andrew Bogut, who will miss the next seven to 10 days in aneffort to strengthen his left ankle.

RELATED: Bogut shut down
The Lakers just fired head coach Mike Brown after just fivegames, and assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the game.RELATED: Lakers fire head coach Mike Brown
Here are some things to look for in Fridays game:What to do about Dwight: Without Bogut,the Warriors will be at a big-time disadvantage against Dwight Howard, theLakers center. Last season when Howard was a member of the Orlando Magic,Warriors coach Mark Jackson had his team intentionally fouling thecenter.The result was Howard set an NBA-record by shooting 39 freethrows in that game, making 21.It remains to be seen whether or not Jackson will employ thesame strategy this year. If not, it will be up to rookie center Festus Ezeli todefend Howard, and when its not Ezeli, Jackson could go with little-used AndrisBiedrins.Outside of that, look for the Warriors to go small a goodportion of the night, with David Lee and Carl Landry playing up front.Weather the storm: The Warriors need tobe ready for a fired-up Lakers team right out of the gate on Friday. It standsto reason that Lakers players will want to make a statement in the wake of theBrown firing, and theyll likely want to make that statement early.RATTO: Lakers don't do 1-4
The Warriors need to be ready to play right off the bat andtry to take the crowd out of the game early.Thompson aggressive: In a preseason gameearlier this year, Klay Thompson had some success against Kobe Bryant byattacking the basket and being aggressive overall on the offensiveend.Afterward, when asked if that was the plan, Thompson said itwas and indicated that Bryants declining athleticism was the reason. Thatmindset and approach is a sound one for Thompson and the Warriors: Make Bryantwork on the defensive end.

Warriors' championship-level defense may never get recognition it deserves

Warriors' championship-level defense may never get recognition it deserves

The Warriors talk defense from sunup to midnight, and maybe beyond. They explain why defense is essential to their offense, which gets universal praise -- accolades that should go to their defense.

The latest example came Monday, when the NBA announced its All-Defensive teams.

Warriors forward Draymond Green was voted to the first team, one vote short of unanimously, and none of his teammates joined him on the five man first team.

Or the five-man second team.

Guard Klay Thompson finished 12th in the balloting, with 45 votes, including 16 for first place. He was omitted from 71 of 100 ballots.

Forward Kevin Durant finished 23rd, with six votes, all second place. He was omitted from 94 ballots. Guard Stephen Curry finished 29th, with three votes, omitted from 97 ballots.

Forward Andre Iguodala finished 30th, with three votes, including one for first place, and was omitted from 98 ballots.

As always, there was some dubious voting, including the omission of Green from one ballot and the inclusion of Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas -- who ranked 410th among the league’s 411 defenders with a rating -- on one ballot.

But the Warriors continue to be identified by their No. 1-ranked offense while being more accurately defined by their defense, which ranked No. 2 in defensive rating.

It ranked No. 1 in practically every other category that matters. The Warriors were tops in field-goal percentage defense (overall and from 3-point distance), fewest points per shot, blocks and steals.

But if they were hoping for more recognition for the primary reason why they’ve won two championships in three seasons -- and more regular-season games in a three-year span than any team in NBA history -- that’s not happening.

Not now, and maybe not any time soon when folks are so mesmerized by the offensive fireworks provided by Curry, Durant and Thompson.

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

For the third straight season, Draymond Green is considered one of the best five defenders in the NBA.

The NBA announced Monday that Green was named to the 2017 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Of the 100 ballots submitted, according to the NBA, Green received 99 first-place votes, but no second-place votes, meaning one voter left Green off their ballot.

Green is joined by Utah's Rudy Gobert, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles' Chris Paul and Houston's Patrick Beverley.

Gobert and Leonard also recieved 99 of a possible 100 First or Second team votes.

Green, Leonard and Gobert are the three finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year, which will be announced Monday night during the NBA Awards Show in New York.

Green is the first player in Warriors franchise history to earned All-Defensive First Team honors three years in a row.

In a season when he had several game-saving plays, Green averaged 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.38 blocks and a league-leading 2.03 steals in 76 games. Green was also the first player in franchise history with at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a season.

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson received eight First-Team votes and 29 Second-Team votes for a total of 45 points. NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant received six Second-Team votes. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Andre Iguodala received one First-Team vote and one Second-Team vote. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry received three Second-Team votes.

Below are the voting results for the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Teams. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP. Complete media ballots will be posted at NBA.com/official tomorrow (Tuesday, June 27).