The Warriors aren’t dead in the water, for once. They’re six games under .500, currently eleventh in the West, and still have trouble stopping people (particularly in the second half, with collapses against Miami and Orlando in the last week), but they also have won six of their last ten, and in general, only really struggle with great teams (currently 1-12 against the top ten teams in point differential). Even if their SRS (simple rating system which factors strength of schedule and point differential) has them behind the Clippers,the Warriors have some things cooking. And they could be looking to improve in the near future.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Warriors are interested in two big name frontcourt players:
The Warriors are interested in Tayshaun Prince and have been intrigued by Zach Randolph, two guys who might fit that description and could be available. Some league sources still believe Andre Iguodala – one of Curry’s favorites – could be made available, but many have soured on that scuttlebutt.
via Warriors’ GM eager to see what team can do.
Prince is intriguing, as he would bring a toughness and leadership which the Warriors haven’t had in decades. He’s a versatile three who would benefit next to Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, and is looking for a fresh start outside of Detroit. The Warriors have young athletic talent which the Pistons are certainly looking for as they build towards the future. Randolph, on the other hand, would simply give them an All-Star who might average 28 and 17 on a team like the Warriors. The Warriors struggle with rebounding, and Randolph is a board machine.
Z-Bo has been chasing an extension to lock up the rest of his career in Memphis, but would certainly be happy to have a similar situation in the Bay. If the Warriors are willing to lock him up long-term, he could thrive in an even faster pace than run-and-gun Memphis.
Will either of these players get the Warriors into the playoffs? That’s hard to say, and it probably depends on what they have to give up in order to get them. But the Warriors don’t need to build through the draft as much as they need a solid upgrade, and if this report is any indication, they’re looking to improve in substantive ways.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors hope to get injured reserves Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes back from injuries for the second round of the playoffs after getting more than a week off between series.
The Warriors said Saturday that Barnes has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday night’s Game 1 and Livingston remains questionable but is hopeful he will be ready to return. Star forward Kevin Durant is expected to be a full go after missing two games and being limited to 20 minutes in Game 4 last round because of a strained left calf.
Barnes has been sidelined since April 8, while Livingston sprained a finger on his right hand in Game 1 of the first-round against Portland.
Golden State begins the second round at home on Tuesday night against the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. The Warriors have been off since sweeping the Trail Blazers last Monday, giving them more than a week between games.
“I’m trying to make sure I rest it as much as I possibly can, because when I do come back I plan on staying all the way back,” Livingston said Saturday. “Hopefully it will be ready for Tuesday.”
After taking Tuesday and Thursday off following their first-round sweep, the Warriors practiced for a second straight day Saturday. They plan to practice again on Sunday and then again Monday once they know their second-round opponent.
There is no update on the status of coach Steve Kerr, who missed the final two games of the first round because of complications from two back surgeries. Kerr talks daily with interim coach Mike Brown and took part in coaching meetings Friday but was not at practice on Saturday.
Kawhi Leonard vs. James Harden. Two MVP candidates matching up in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
However, the San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets is much more than that.
It’s a battle of pace. It’s a chess match between two of the best coaches in the game. It’s about which team’s role players are going to step up.
I talk about all of that in this latest PBT Extra. Plus, of course, when Leonard will guard Harden.
There are no NBA playoff games Saturday night, the first night since the start of the postseason there hasn’t been one game. Don’t worry, there are two games on Sunday, including Game 7 between the Jazz and Clippers.
But if you need a Saturday night fix, this will have to do: 15 minutes of the best plays from last season, as compiled by NBA.com.
Go ahead, watch it. You’ve got nothing better to do.
This is ranked right next to “overeating can lead to weight gain” on the list of surprising things, but we will dutifully report it anyway:
Paul Millsap is going to opt out and officially become a free agent this summer.
Atlanta’s owner as well as Mike Budenholzer, the coach and head of basketball operations, have both said they plan to do whatever it takes to re-sign Millsap with the Hawks. Millsap didn’t sound like someone eager to leave after the Hawks were eliminated from the playoffs Friday.
“It’s been great. I’m looking to expand this and see where the franchise can go. These last four years has been great. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Even with both sides singing Kumbaya, keeping Millsap in Atlanta likely means a five-year contract at or near the max, which for a 32-year-old player means the Hawks would regret the last year or two of that deal.
Not that the Hawks have much of a choice here, they have to come in big and keep him. For one, they can’t afford to lose Al Horford and then Millsap for nothing in back-to-back years. If they were going down the rebuilding road, they needed to trade Millsap at the deadline (or last summer) to make sure they got something in return. Atlanta explored trade options at the deadline, but then pulled back (rumored to be because of an edict from ownership, which didn’t want to see the team blown up after the Kyle Korver trade).
By not making that trade the Hawks signaled their intention to remain a good team — a 43-win team this season that got them the five seed — with Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard, one that draws well at an arena that historically has not been that full, and see if they can add on. They strike me as a team that will win between 42-50 games a year and be middle of the pack in the East for the next few years, unless they can find a way to add an elite player (which is incredibly difficult).
But if the Hawks can’t re-sign Millsap, then the plan gets blown up. So expect them to come in with a big offer come July 1.