Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for


Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Suns coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors enter the 2012-13 season full of optimism, hope and, yes, concern and worry. Their goal is to make the playoffs, though they havent been as vocal about that as a season ago when coach Mark Jackson and owner Joe Lacob promised as much.The reason for the hope is the return of Stephen Curry and the (late) arrival of center Andrew Bogut. Curry will be in the starting lineup Wednesday night when the Warriors open against the Suns in Phoenix. Bogut, who practiced the past few days, could join Curry.RELATED: Table set for Bogut
Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdays game:Currys conditioningeffectiveness: Fresh off signing a four-year, 44 million contract extension, Curry will start at point guard for the first time since last season.RELATED: Extension for Curry
Curry played only five of eight preseason games as the Warriors took great precaution in protecting his right ankle. Curry hasnt played since Oct. 19, when he sprained the ankle in a game against Portland.Hell match up with Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic on Wednesday night, and Dragic is a quick and athletic point guard. It should be a nice challenge for Curry in his first game back.Bogut or no Bogut: Bogut hasnt played since January, when he fractured his left ankle as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is expected to give it a go tonight against Phoenix, but nothing is official at this point.If healthy, Bogut gives the Warriors a dimension they havent had in recent years -- a competent big man who is versatile and can help in different areas. They could really use Bogut on the defensive end. Suns center Marcin Gortat hurt the Warriors in a preseason game a week ago at Oracle Arena.Barnes gets nod: Lets see if there are any first-game jitters for rookie small forward Harrison Barnes, who is getting the start against Phoenix. What the Warriors need most from Barnes is energy and athleticism.Barnes has shown an ability to get to the rim in the preseason and also knock down 3-point shots. Question is: Can he do those things consistently during his rookie season?

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

OAKLAND -- Briante Weber’s 20 days with the Warriors came to an end Saturday night, creating a roster opening expected to be filled by veteran point guard Jose Calderon.

“We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after a 112-95 victory over Brooklyn.

Calderon is in the process to be bought out by the Lakers, after which he will become a free agent. Once he clears waivers, the Warriors, according to multiple sources, will be waiting to offer a physical examination and a contract.

Though Warriors president/general manager Bob Myers stopped short of identifying Calderon by name, his insinuations late Saturday night line up with what was learned from league sources.

“You find that in the playoffs, experience matters,” Myers told CSNBayArea.com.

“I don’t want to diminish (Weber’s) contribution and say he’s not capable,” he added. “He could help a team. But I think sometimes you go with experience when going into the playoffs.”

While Weber is 24, with limited NBA experience, Calderon is 35 and has 12 seasons in the league, including three playoff appearances with two different teams. Moreover, Calderon is a career 41.1-percent 3-point shooter.

Calderon has played sparingly this season and has appeared only once, for five minutes, over the last nine games. In November, his most active month, he played in 11 games, averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 45.0 from beyond the arc.

Not that this made releasing Weber any easier. He had, in a short span of time, become popular with his teammates. Though Weber declined postgame interview requests, Stephen Curry spent a few minutes consoling and encouraging him.

Kerr struggled a bit in announcing that the team was releasing Weber, though the move was made by the front office in consultation with the coaching staff.

“We are making the decision thinking it’s the best thing for the team,” he said. “We make every decision based on that.

Weber played two minutes Saturday, scoring four points on 2-of-3 shooting. He logged a total of 46 minutes spread over seven games.

“He’s a good kid, did everything we asked of him,” Myers said. “But sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions. Sometimes you’re not even right, but you make the best decision you can at the time.

“But he’s got a future in the NBA. He’ll have options. That’s the best thing about his situation. He’ll be able to choose what’s best for him.”

Warriors to release Briante Weber, will sign another guard

Warriors to release Briante Weber, will sign another guard

The Warriors are releasing guard Briante Weber, head coach Steve Kerr announced to the media after the team's 112-95 win over the Nets on Saturday night at Oracle Arena. 

Weber played 2:20 against Brooklyn, scoring four points with one rebound and one steal. He went 2-for-3 from the field and was plus-3 on the night. 

The 24-year-old VCU product played in seven games for the Warriors since coming up from the D-League in early February. Weber averaged 1.7 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game with Golden State. 

Kerr acknowledged the Warriors will sign a guard and the process is already in motion.