NBA Sittings, Round 2

716614.jpg

NBA Sittings, Round 2

With the Warriors either successfully taking the pipe last night, or struggling valiantly against all the odds of a double-digit fourth quarter lead to avoid yet another loss (depending on whether youre on the Warrior payroll), the race at the bottom of the Ping-Pong Balls For Life Division is slowly tightening.With inexcusably embarrassing wins by Detroit (over Orlando) and Toronto (over divisional mortal lock Charlotte), the Warriors are now only two games behind the Raptors and Sacramento, and with some serious scuba work (or horrendously bad luck, depending on whether you are on the Warrior payroll) could still finish fourth with 14 games left to play.In other words, Warrior fans everywhere, keep a bad thought. Or a good one, depending on whether youre on the Warrior payroll.TEAM W L PCT GB NEXT ANTICIPATED LOSS CHARLOTTE 7 44 137
AT ATLANTA WASHINGTON 12 41 226 4 INDIANA NEW ORLEANS 13 40 245 5 DENVER CLEVELAND 17 34 333 10 AT MILWAUKEE NEW JERSEY 19 36 345 10 AT PORTLAND SACRAMENTO 19 35 352 10.5 L.A. CLIPPERS (Thu.) TORONTO 19 35 352 10.5 AT PHILADELPHIA DETROIT 20 33 377 12 WASHINGTON (Thu.) GOLDEN STATE 20 32 385 12.5 MINNESOTARay Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.

Stephen Jackson: Draymond Green 'is a new version of me'

Stephen Jackson: Draymond Green 'is a new version of me'

In the Warriors' sweep of the Blazers, Draymond Green was fantastic.

He averaged 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 4.3 blocks and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep.

On Tuesday morning, former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson was asked about the two-time runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year.

"I don't want to change him at all. That chip on his shoulder, the way he plays, as Steve Kerr will tell you -- every team needs a guy like that," Jackson said on KNBR 680. "I was that guy in San Antonio. I was that guy on a lot of teams.

"You need a guy like that to even it out. You don't want your team to be a pushover. And sometimes, his emotion might hurt the team. But you can live with that, because you got a guy going to bat for all your guys.

"He's one of the best all-around players in the league -- Top 5 -- and you need a guy like that. He makes that team better.

"He's one of those guys that puts his body on the line for a team, passes up a shot to make a pass, guard the best player and not worry about scoring -- that's my type of guy."

When the "We Believe" Warriors upset the Dallas Mavericks in 2007, Jackson averaged 22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals, while shooting over 47 percent from 3-point territory in that series.

"I say Draymond is a new version of me -- just way more athletic," Jackson added. "And I love it. I wore his jersey last year to The Finals, and I plan on wearing it again."