Two things to watch in Warriors-Lakers battle in preseason finale


SAN JOSE — Closing out the preseason schedule Friday night against the Lakers at SAP Center is, for the Warriors, both a progress report and final exam prior to turning toward the regular season.

Coach Steve Kerr stressed defense and avoiding fouls as priorities, there several other factors worthy of attention. Here are two things to watch.

For the first time since the preseason opener, Draymond Green is expected to play. He participated in a light practice Thursday — his first in 12 days — and barring a pregame setback will be in the starting lineup at power forward.

Kerr says Green will be on a minutes restriction, which generally translates to 20 or fewer.

What will the Warriors be looking for? They need to see how well Green moves and, moreover, determine how much chemistry he has with the young centers, particularly Damian Jones, who through two seasons has played 174 NBA minutes.

For two seasons, Green has been the anchor of the defense and, in many ways, the hub of the offense. Everything seems to work better with him on the floor. The Warriors need to see how much of him they’re getting to start the season.

Rotation roulette

Asked Thursday if his Green’s return would settle playing rotations, Kerr said that’s not necessarily the case.

“I may tinker with it a little bit,” he said after the team’s practice on Thursday.

Most of tinkering will be up front. Damian Jones has started all four games and likely will remain. Kevin Durant and Green will be up front. After that, it’s a matter of how best to use Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney inside, with Andre Iguodala on the perimeter and Jonas Jerebko stretching the floor.

The guard rotation is set. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will start, as they have since 2012-13, with Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook and gobbling up most, if not all, of the remaining minutes. Expect rookie Jacob Evans III to do a lot of watching.

Source :