Three Things to Watch in Warriors' NBA Preseason Game Vs. Suns

OAKLAND -- The Warriors make their second and final preseason appearance at Oracle Arena on Monday, when they face the Phoenix Suns.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

The Warriors have split their first two games, a 114-110 loss to the Timberwolves on Sept. 29 in Oakland and a 122-94 win over the Kings last Friday in Seattle.

Here are three things to watch against the Suns:

The power forwards

With Draymond Green out (left knee soreness), the Warriors will have a chance to further evaluate the other power forwards on their roster. Expect Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney -- both of whom are expected to play more at center once the regular season begins -- to get minutes there.

Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko, signed largely to provide long-range shooting off the bench, also is capable of playing both power forward and center. Through two games and 27 minutes, he has missed his only two attempts from beyond the arc.

In Green's absence in Seattle, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gave the start to training-camp invitee Marcus Derrickson, the only true power forward on the roster without a guaranteed contract. The rookie from Georgetown played 21 minutes, totaling five points, seven rebounds and one assist.

Derrickson entered camp as a long shot to make the roster. He still is, but less so.

The playing rotation

Kerr indicated Sunday that it's time to start shedding the training-camp mentality and start thinking about the approach to the regular season.

That means more minutes for the starters, who could get into the mid- to high-20s. Stephen Curry missed the last game for personal reasons, so he could see more playing time than fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Though Damian Jones likely will make another start, Kerr reserves the option to go with Bell or Looney. In any case, Jones almost certainly will get more than the 13.5 minutes he averaged in the first two games. The Warriors have until Oct. 15 to decide whether to extend his rookie contract. They're expected to do so.

The young guards

Quinn Cook, who last season parlayed a two-way contract into an NBA roster spot, has yet to established a clear lead at the point over camp invitee Tyler Ulis.

Kerr, wanting to take a closer look at Ulis, gave the third-year pro the start in Seattle. He played relatively well but was a reluctant shooter. That might have been because Klay Thompson was on target and Kevin Durant was the highlighted player of the evening.

Cook's challenge is fairly simple: He has to shoot better. After becoming the G-League's first and only member of 50-40-90 Club, he was solid last season with the Warriors -- particularly in games he started -- and led the team in scoring five times.

Through the first two games this preseason, he's shooting 4-of-15 from the field, including 0-of-7 from deep.

The Warriors aren't worried, but they'd like to see a few shots drop for Cook.

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us