The Golden State Warriors play seven of their next eight games on the road. And they'll start the first one against the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately, they'll be without Andrew Bogut (suspended for his involvement in the tussle withthe Portland Trail Blazers).
Warriors C Andrew Bogut to receive one-game suspension for role in altercation with Portland | http://t.co/OClgnm9Jpx— Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) November 25, 2013
I was able to head over to the Warriors practice facility in Downtown Oakland and grab some quotes from available players and coaches. Some reactions about the Bogut suspension:
David Lee: "I don't know if Coach is going with me as the five, two bigs, or a small lineup but it's up to Coach Jackson."
Reaction to suspension: "I don't want to get in any trouble but I find it tough to see how he was the only guy suspended when he was trying to stop a guy from breaking his arm. He's had his arm broken before. A similar incident happened between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles and nothing happened."
Stephen Curry: "It's a huge blow but Coach always preaches the next guy has to step up. It was unexpected but it is what it is. Dewayne, Dlee, hopefully JO will come back and we'll be fine. I was surprised that he was suspended. I didn't see the replays but I felt like he was not the reason it flared to the extent it did."
Mark Jackson: "Not happy with it. Just accept it and move on. No sense in us whining and complaining now."
The news probably came as somewhat of a surprise to most Warriors fans when considering the fact that Bogut received nary a flagrant after several minutes of game-time replay. All three guys alluded to missing Bogut on the defensive end and Jackson went out of his way to praise Bogut's screening and a little post-game to keep defenses honest.
Bright side to all this? I guess Bogut will get a much-deserved rest after playing over 30 minutes in five straight games.
Jackson: He [Jermaine] went through practice today. We'll see how he responds and we'll know come game time. Either way we need guys to step up. Any signs of pain and he won't play.
I was able to watch O'Neal practice off to the side a bit. He didn't do any sprints or defensive drills but otherwise seemed to look fine shooting and jogging to and from spots on the floor. With the Warriors, we'll really never know if he'll play or not until the very last second. And even with Bogut out, it'll be tough to see them rushing O'Neal back. That's simply not how the team functions ever since the Bogut ankle disaster/fiasco/however you want to call it of last season.
Some other practice observations:
I probably won't be making too much of a habit of this but it was my first time part of the media in practice so it was nice to see which parts of the game players worked on. The practice ran about 45 minutes late so we're left to assume why. No more isolation possessions, maybe? By the time the media was able to head in, there were a couple guys left: Klay Thompson, Curry, Bogut, Lee, O'Neal, Kent Bazemore, and Festus Ezeli.
Thompson worked on free throws for a couple minutes before leaving. Bazemore floated around a bit, working on threes and some ball-handling. Ezeli was seen talking to who I'd assume as trainers, but was in sweatpants and a hoodie. He's still a couple months away. Andre Iguodala was nowhere to be seen with his hamstring strain. Bogut was off to the side opposite O'Neal shooting free throws.
The two guys that were still working -- and this is after practice -- were Lee and Curry. Lee worked on free throws, left-hand and right-handed hook shots, then called over Brian Scalabrine for some one-on-one post play. Lee is much quicker than given credit for and made most of shots off spins and half-turns.
Curry was then seen working on dribbling drills and half-contested finishes for about 15 minutes. Then he ended his day with about 20 three-point shots from five separate spots around the three-point line. By my unofficial count, he missed about 15 shots. An unofficial 85 percent from behind the arc. Methinks he's ready for the road trip.