Warriors focus: Kent Bazemore


Warriors focus: Kent Bazemore

Editor's note: This is the second of seven individual player analysis, focusing on new Warriors' faces.

The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end ofthe 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their rostercome the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack andCarl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hesa newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for theteam yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin ourplayer-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Kent Bazemore, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, shootingguard.Whats most important to know about Bazemore -- at thispoint, anyway -- is that hes currently occupying the 15th roster spot, which isthe maximum number allowed in the NBA.Whats also very pertinent is that his contract isntguaranteed. That means that while the Warriors like Bazemore, there are noassurances hell be around for the whole season.Yes, theres a scenario in which Bazemore could spend theentire 2012-13 with the Warriors or their D-League affiliate, which is prettymuch what Chris Wright did last season.But Bazemore is also a candidate to be waived at any time --which is the nature of a non-guarantee.What Bazemore has going for him is that he has the potentialto be the teams best defender on point guards and shooting guards. That alonecould make him worth keeping around.Its not a secret that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, theWarriors projected starting backcourt, do not excel at the defensive end.Jack will help on thatend of the floor, but its not like hes a defensive stopper.Charles Jenkins is certainly improving defensively, butwere still talking about a stocky, 6-foot-3-ish sized player who isntoff-the-charts athletically.Bazemore, a left-hander, is a long 6-foot-5, and hesathletic. On top of that, hes got a defensive foundation, he has goodinstincts and he anticipates well. Bazemore comes into the league afterwinning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in the ColonialAthletic Association his junior and senior seasons.Bazemore defended well for the Warriors in the Las VegasSummer League. He also averaged 1.8 blocks per game, including one game inwhich he had seven. Bazemores length sometimes gives smaller playersdifficulty, and in Vegas, he showed an ability to block shots from behind intransition.There were times this summer when Bazemore and Jenkinsplayed together -- with Bazemore defending the point guard and Jenkins theshooting guard.When you look at the Warriors roster -- top to bottom -- youcould see how a player such as Bazemore could stick around. After all, he hasthe ability to do something very important -- defending guards -- better thananyone else on the roster.You can see why the Warriors like that and like Bazemore,too. Then again, the Warriors liked Wright and Jeremy Lin and even DominicMcGuire -- and none of those players are still with the team.Still, Bazemore has a shot with the Warriors. Lets see whathappens.

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

OAKLAND – After eight years as one of the NBA’s most intriguing projects, JaVale McGee was extended an opportunity to join the Warriors, the league’s successful franchise over the past two seasons.

Informed early Friday that he had made the roster, the 7-foot center celebrated by never leaving the bench in the preseason finale Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Though he had recovered well enough from a left knee strain to play, coach Steve Kerr opted to keep McGee off the court against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Which was fine by McGee, who after the game sat in front of his locker with ice bags wrapped from just above his knee to the bottom of his calf.

“I’m just happy, blessed, to have this chance,” he told CSNBayArea.com.

McGee earned the 15th and final roster spot by doing what the Warriors had hoped. He ran the floor well, blocked a few shots and sent a few lob passes powering through the bottom of the net.

“He had a good camp and he gives us something that we don’t have with our other centers, with that length and that ability to catch a lob and finish,” Kerr said. “He has the potential to help us. We’ll see how it all goes.”

McGee, 28, will join 34-year-old Anderson Varejao in sharing spot minutes behind starter Zaza Pachulia and top backup David West.

“I'm starting to figure out what the coaches want from me, and I’m starting to execute it,” he said. “Everything is going well.”

Selected by the Washington Wizards in the first round (18th overall) of the 2008 draft, McGee is now on his fifth NBA team.

Noting that he has no control over his playing time but will do his part to influence the coaching staff, McGee said he is here primarily to achieve has one goal:

“Win an NBA championship,” he said. “That’s it.”

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

While Kevin Durant is understandably the talk of the Warriors after shaking up the NBA landscape in his free agency decision, the player garnering the closest amount of hype going in the regular season was bought with the No. 38 pick in this year's draft. 

"The young kid Patrick McCaw, who's a second-round pick from Vegas, he's picked up everything so easy," head coach Steve Kerr said on KNBR's Tolbert & Lund on Friday. "He reminds me a lot of Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun Livingston, and not only with his build, but with his feel for the game." 

The Warriors used $2.4 million to buy the Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick and make McCaw their new diamond in the rough, just three picks later than Draymond Green in the 2012 draft.

For McCaw, there can't be a much higher compliment from Kerr with himeself being such a big fan of Livingston. 

"Definitely I watch a lot of Shaun Livingston too, a big point guard who can make plays with the ball, can defend, and that's just where I see my game going," McCaw said at his introductory press conference for the Warriors in June.

From summer league through the preseason, McCaw only continues to impress. 

Shining in the Las Vegas Summer League, the versatile McCaw averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals over 33.8 minutes per game. Playing in all seven of the Warriors' preseason games, the 20-year-old guard poured in 8.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game while averaging 20.1 minutes.