Celtics-Warriors: What to watch for

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Celtics-Warriors: What to watch for

Oh, by the way, the Warriors still have plenty of games toplay, and the Celtics are coming to Oracle on Wednesday.While the trade of Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown tothe Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson is the big news, the remainingWarriors will have to deal with Boston, currently playing its third game of aneight-game road trip.The Warriors are coming off a surprising win on Tuesdaynight against the Kings in Sacramento, but they will likely be short offirepower for the rest of the season.
Theyve lost their best player and leading scorer in Ellisand their starting center in Udoh. In addition, Stephen Currys status remainsin limbo.Here are some things to watch for during the Celtics-Warriors game:Offense issues: Without Ellis, theWarriors are going to need other players to step up with their scoring, and itlikely starts with Dorell Wright and Nate Robinson.Wright has been in a shooting slump much of the season, butthere are signs hes coming out of it. As for Robinson, hell likely get moreplaying time now that Ellis is gone, and hell have more of a free reign thanbefore.The Celtics have been playing better of late, and theirdefense has picked up. It will be interesting to see how the Warriors scoreifwhen Boston really bears down on defense.Lets see about Klay: The player whostands to benefit most from the trade of Ellis is rookie shooting guard KlayThompson. It seems apparent that the Warriors believe he can be the two guardof the future, and the future starts now.RELATED: Klay Thompson game logs splits news
Thompson struggled from the field against the Kings onTuesday night, but righted himself some in the second half. It will be worthnoting how Thompson handles his extra minutes for example, how will he bounceback against the Celtics after playing a career-high 42 minutes againstSacramento.Effort and energy: The Warriors obviouslygave up a lot of talent in this trade and Bogut doesnt figure on playing therest of this season. It alsoremains unclear what role if any Jackson will have with theWarriors.Against the Kings, the Warriors got after it defensively andwon going away. Some of that was the Warriors effort level and some of it wasthe Kings being flat.If the Warriors want to have any hope of winning some gameson the way toward the end of the season, theyre going to have to getconscientious efforts from most of their players each and every night.

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed NBCSportsBayArea.com earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.