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Warriors seek consistency against Orlando in East-coast swing of six-game road trip

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Golden State’s banged-up starters have been cleared to play tonight against the Magic.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Stephen Curry found a way against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, despite an injured finger.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors’ medical staff has worked its, um, magic ahead of tonight’s tilt in the, er, Magic Kingdom. Now, Coach Steve Kerr can clear the bench for an all-hands-on-deck affair for tonight’s game in Orlando.

This news will come as a relief to fans eager to see the team reclaim, at minimum, a flow but, preferably, league domination. But the return of banged-up players following a cross-country flight — amidst a six-game road trip — might give other fans pause.

Even with an improved NBA schedule, playing across time zones makes injuries a more delicate issue. And a win over a 9-13 Orlando Magic team pales in importance when weighed against player health.

However, given silly losses to lesser teams as of late, Kerr is eager to see disciplined basketball execution out of his men. Being the Zen coach that he is, Kerr is about guys playing smarter, not harder.

“I’m not looking for some fanatical defensive effort, to where we’re diving into the stands,” Kerr said in a practice interview. “I’m looking for — take care of the ball, execute the play and, you know, stick to our principles defensively.”

This message is more pertinent than ever for those ruled in:

  • Stephen Curry (right hand)
  • Kevin Durant (left ankle)
  • David West (left knee)
  • Klay Thompson (right ankle)

Get the win, but sacrifice nothing.

If the Golden State Warriors, under Kerr’s leadership, could become the small-ball, three-pointing-shooting behemoth that it is — forever changing the way the game is played — the players certainly can use their superlative mind tricks to outsmart their opponents when too banged up to out-muscle them.

What they cannot do, however, is rest on their laurels.

The Magic’s win on Wednesday broke a four-game losing streak, and the matchup tonight against the Warriors provides Orlando its first chance in three weeks to put together consecutive wins. In other words, the Magic enter the game aware of the Warriors’ weaknesses and fueled by motivation to take care of business.

Ruled out for tonight with left knee soreness: Andre Iguodala.

Poll

Game prediction: Which is the likeliest scenario in tonight’s game?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    A) Steph goes ballistic and sits the fourth.
    (19 votes)
  • 8%
    B) Klay shoots either 5 points OR 50 points.
    (8 votes)
  • 43%
    C) Warriors have 12 or more turnovers, Magic keep it close, but the Dubs come away with the win.
    (41 votes)
  • 4%
    D) Warriors have 12 or more turnovers, Magic keep it close, but the Magic come away with the win.
    (4 votes)
  • 18%
    E) Mickey Mouse gets drunk in the stands and makes out with Daisy Duck.
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    F) A new or worsened injury to any player listed on the injury report.
    (5 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now