Getty Images

Andrew Bogut agrees to deal to return to Warriors

4 Comments

The Golden State Warriors want a traditional center who can back up DeMarcus Cousins in certain playoff matchups. They thought they would land Robin Lopez, but the Bulls never bought him out and put him on the free agent market.

That opened the door for Andrew Bogut, who had been playing for the Sydney Kings in his native Australia’s National Basketball League (a season that just ended). Now, as previously reported, he is on his way to the Warriors. The team made it official.

Bogut is not going to get much run with the Warriors. Cousins starts at center, and they will have their “death lineup” minutes with Draymond Green at the five. However, with Kevon Looney out injured there are minutes to be had for a traditional backup big (Jordan Bell will fight for some minutes, too, and had some good games recently).

Bogut dominated in Australia, where he was named league MVP, averaging 11.4 points and a league-leading 11.6 rebounds a game, he shot 56 percent on the season. Always a smart positional defender, he averaged 2.7 blocks per contest. Also, he was named NBL’s Best Defensive Player and to the All NBL First Team.

The Warriors are going with the guy they know. Bogut was the starting center for the Warriors in the 2015 title run, but was seen as too injury prone (his injury in the 2016 Finals is an under-discussed reason for the Warriors 3-1 collapse against the Cavaliers) and the Warriors traded him after the 2016 season to get the cap room to sign Kevin Durant.

Bogut’s injury history is less of an issue in the limited role he will play. When we last saw Bogut in the NBA, he struggled to get on the court for the Lakers a year ago, but the Warriors are going with the guy they know.

Three Things to Know: Dwyane Wade hits H-O-R-S-E shot game-winner to beat Warriors

Associated Press
1 Comment

Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) Dwyane Wade hits H-O-R-S-E game-winner to beat Warriors. In his 16-year career, Dwyane Wade has hit more important shots. And tougher ones.

But it was fun to watch the future Hall of Famer dust off the magic one more time.

Golden State had taken the game in Miami just seriously enough to stay fairly close, then come back in the fourth quarter to take a two-point lead heading into the final possession. With 10 seconds remaining Wade started a drive but Andre Iguodala stayed in front of him and cut him off, so Wade passed back to Dion Waiters. However, Waiters was doubled. Wade sprinted back to the arc to give Waiters an outlet, and when Wade caught the ball he looked open at the top of the arc as he lined up a three…

Then Jordan Bell blocked the shot. Wade twisted, grabbed the block and…

Wade has not had his old magic this season, but for a night he found it.

The win also moved the Heat within half a game of Charlotte (and tied in the loss column with them) for the final playoff spot in the East.

2) Celtics play better, but too much Damian Lillard gets Portland win in Boston. That’s four in a row. The Boston Celtics have come out of the All-Star break and dropped four in a row. It’s the kind of streak that could well lock them into the fifth seed when all is said and done, which means starting the playoffs on the road somewhere.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, the Celtics looked better in this loss than they did the night before in losing to the Raptors — back home, Boston showed some fight. Kyrie Irving had 31 points on 24 shots, Marcus Smart was energy and defense personified, and Jaylen Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

But at this point, a loss is a loss for Boston. Blowout or close. The team just needs some wins.

Jusuf Nurkic played some bully ball for Portland and got 16 points, while Moe Harkless played good defense and outworked everyone to 17 points and 10 rebounds.

And then there was Damian Lillard, just making plays all game long on his way to 33 points.

Portland has started 4-0 on a seven-game road swing, they are the current four seed in the West just half-a-game back of three seed Oklahoma City (and the Thunder have a much tougher schedule the rest of the way). Maybe Portland finishing as the three seed last season wasn’t such a fluke.

3) We hope Marvin Bagley’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked like it could be. Sacramento’s star rookie (and No. 2 pick) Marvin Bagley has steadily improved all season and really found his groove of late. In the three games leading into Wednesday night — against the Warriors, Thunder, and Timberwolves — Bagley had a combined for 72 points and 35 rebounds (24 points and 11.7 rebounds a game).

But against the Bucks Wednesday night he banged knees on a screen and went down hard.

Here’s what’s concerning: Bagley banged his right knee on the screen, but grabbed his left knee when he went down. Watch the replay closely and you can see his left foot kind of stick and his knee twist awkwardly.

Officially, it’s a sprain with an MRI coming on Thursday.

Bagley has been a big part of the Kings push to make the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years. Sacramento fell to Milwaukee 141-140 in overtime, putting the Kings a full two games behind the Clippers and Spurs (but one back in the loss column), the teams tied for the 7/8 seeds in the West with 21 games to play. The Kings need wins, and if Bagley is out for any stretch of time those will be harder to come by.

Draymond Green ejected after third quarter ends

Getty Images
4 Comments

Draymond Green was pissed off. The Warriors had just been outscored by 10 (32-22) in the third quarter and headed to the fourth trailing the lowly Suns. Plus, he felt Phoenix’s Kelly Oubre almost head-butted him celebrating a bucket at the end of the quarter, a play the referees chose not to call it.

After the buzzer to end the third, Green marched down to have a word with Leon Wood. DeMarcus Cousins and Jordan Bell realized this was not going to be the kind of polite conversation one has over tea and finger sandwiches, so they tried to run down and pull him back, but they were not fast enough, and Green said something that got him tossed.

No Green didn’t matter. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson cranked it up in the fourth, combining for 21 points and the Warriors without Green beat the Suns 117-107.

Curry injured, Bucks snap Warriors’ eight-game win streak

AP Photo
2 Comments

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry left with an injury and the Golden State Warriors were unable to recover in a 134-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that snapped their eight-game winning streak Thursday night.

Eric Bledsoe scored seven straight points during Milwaukee’s big third quarter and finished with 26. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Bucks handed the Warriors their first defeat at home this season.

The two-time defending NBA champions were already missing All-Star Draymond Green and then lost Curry midway through the third. The two-time NBA MVP strained the adductor muscle in his left leg and went to the locker room shortly thereafter. He did not return.

Curry grabbed at his inner thigh after trying to contest Bledsoe’s shot in transition at the 6:50 mark of the third. He is expected to have an MRI on Friday.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 24 points and Kevin Durant had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Curry, limited to 51 regular-season games last season because of injuries, scored 10 points in his second straight game below 20 after getting at least 23 points in every game previously — including five 30-point performances and a 51-point outing in three quarters. He dished out six assists in 26 minutes.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points and Khris Middleton had 17 and six assists as Milwaukee (9-2) won for the second straight time at Oracle Arena after a 116-107 victory on March 29. The Bucks outscored the Warriors 41-28 in the third and shot 65 percent inside the arc (43 of 66) overall.

Antetokounmpo had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block by halftime as the Bucks led 64-51 at the break.

Bledsoe hit back-to-back layups to put the Bucks ahead 84-64 midway through the third then answered Curry’s jumper with a 3-pointer the next time down. Donte DiVincenzo’s basket at the 4:06 mark made it 93-69 and coach Steve Kerr called a timeout.

Jordan Bell had four points and five rebounds for the Warriors while moving into the starting lineup in place of Green, sidelined after spraining his right foot and toe in the first half of Monday’s win over the Grizzlies.

Golden State (10-2) is still tied for the second-best start in franchise history behind the 2015-16 team that began 24-0. The Warriors dropped to 6-1 at home.

Steve Kerr says DeMarcus Cousins is ‘right on schedule’ but will not set timeline

Getty Images
2 Comments

DeMarcus Cousins is moving well in the videos we’ve seen of him, and according to Golden State’s Steve Kerr he is recovering “right on schedule.”

Just don’t ask him what that schedule is.

The Warriors can afford to be patient with Cousin’s return and that is what’s happening, Kerr told Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News.

“He’s right on schedule. He hasn’t had any setbacks. He’s doing well. Beyond that, there’s nothing. No prediction. Especially with an Achilles injury, you have to wait and see how the player responds once he’s on the court and moving at full speed.”

Because the Warriors can afford to wait, it would be a surprise to see Cousins before mid-December, and more likely it will be 2019 before he steps on the court. The Warriors are going to win plenty of games without him, there is no pressure to get him back so they can make the playoffs. The key is to have him healthy and in a groove when the second season starts.

In the interim, Kerr said that Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell, and Damian Jones will compete for the starting center spot. Expect the Warriors to rotate the heavy minutes at the five among those three depending upon matchups. That said, Kerr praised Jones — who spent much of last season in the G-League — and made it sound like he could get a legitimate look.