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Klay Thompson injury update: Warriors star says he’d ‘love’ to play this season, but will be ‘very patient’


SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been a while since injured Warriors guard Klay Thompson has spoken publicly, but during a press conference about his Washington State jersey retirement in the middle of the Warriors’ 124-97 loss to the Mavericks on Tuesday night, Thompson also briefly addressed his rehab from a torn ACL suffered in last year’s NBA Finals.

Thompson was scheduled to talk to the media before the game, but in true Thompson fashion the conference was delayed until halftime, and it lasted well into the third quarter of the game.

“It’s going great. At least my suits are well-tailored,” Thompson said of his rehab. “It’s fun to watch these guys battle. Obviously I wish I could be out there. It’s been a long process. I mean, I haven’t stopped working since the third day after Game 6 of the 2019 Finals. You might not see me a lot, but, oh, I’m working.”

Thompson said that he’d “love” to play again this season, but is going to exercise caution as not to jeopardize the rest of his career.

“I don’t know what’s gonna come this season. I would love to get out there,” Thompson said. ” … I know it’s a tough part of the season. It’s very rare for me not to be grinding through it with them, but I’m trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again, so I’ll be very patient — because I want to play at a high level until I’m in my late 30s.”

Thompson is set to be re-evaluated around the All-Star break in mid-February, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in October that it was unlikely that his sharpshooter would take the court this season. April would be the nine-month mark for his rehab, and if the Warriors were chasing a playoff spot it might conceivably make sense to bring Thompson back, the team’s current state makes it almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which Thompson suits up this season.

Instead Golden State can look toward 2020-21, when they’ll hopefully have their core of Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green back fully healthy, with D’Anglo Russell, a high lottery pick and/or assets picked up in a trade for one or both of them.





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Warriors To Sign Marquese Chriss Back On Two-Way


The Golden State Warriors intend to re-sign big man Marquese Chriss, Marc Spears of ESPN reports. The big man had won a spot in the team’s rotation after training camp but was but was cut by the team last week.

Chriss’ previous deal, a non-guaranteed pact, was set to lock in for the season had he remained on the team’s payroll through Jan. 7. Given the team’s proximity to the tax apron and their desire to convert Damion Lee’s two-way deal to a standard pact, Chriss was the odd man out.

By signing Chriss to a two-way deal, the Warriors can keep him on board without a cap hit on their big league payroll. Doing so will allow them to utilize the prorated shared of Chriss’ 45 days’ worth of big league service time over the course of the rest of the season.

Chriss averaged 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Warriors this season and filled in capably for the team as it struggled with injuries through the first three months of the season.





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Warriors vs. Clippers odds, line, spread: 2020 NBA picks, Jan. 10 predictions from proven computer model


A Pacific Division battle is on tap between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday at the Staples Center. Los Angeles is 26-12 overall and 16-4 at home, while Golden State is 9-30 overall and 3-17 on the road. The Warriors stumble into Friday’s contest having lost six straight games. The Clippers, meanwhile, have won 12 of their last 18 contests. Los Angeles is favored by 15-points in the latest Clippers vs. Warriors odds, while the over-under is set at 219.5. Before entering any Warriors vs. Clippers picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It’s already returned almost $1,800 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 11 on a blistering 26-13 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, it has simulated Clippers vs. Warriors 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in nearly 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

Los Angeles came out on top in a nail-biter against New York on Sunday, sneaking past the Knicks by a final score of 135-132. The win came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 45-29 deficit. Lou Williams was a major factor in Los Angeles’ victory, recording 32 points, nine assists and two rebounds. Montrezl Harrell also had a strong showing against the Knicks, finishing with 34 points, six rebounds and three assists. 

Meanwhile, Golden State came up short against Milwaukee on Wednesday, falling 107-98. The top scorer for the Warriors was shooting guard Alec Burks, who finished with 19 points. Center Willie Cauley-Stein posted a double-double against the Bucks, scoring 10 points while grabbing 11 boards. 

Two offensive numbers to keep in mind before tip-off: Los Angeles enters Friday’s contest scoring 115.8 points per game on average, good for fourth best in the league. Less enviably, the Warriors have only been able to knock down 43 percent of their shots, which is the lowest field goal percentage in the league. 

So who wins Clippers vs. Warriors? And which side of the spread hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Warriors vs. Clippers spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks





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Football

The Seattle Seahawks are suddenly road warriors


The Seattle Seahawks have proven they can win on the road this season. But can they carry their traveling success into the postseason?

There is no one better on the road than the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle went 8-1 on the road this season, with their only loss coming in a late-season Sunday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. After a devastatingly-close loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their final game of the regular season, the Seahawks finished as the No. 5 seed in the NFC and traveled across the country to Philadelphia for their Wild Card matchup. But that didn’t stop them from earning a dominant 17-9 victory and a trip to Green Bay for the Divisional round.

The Seahawks are known for having one of the most intimidating home stadiums in the country. But this season, they’ve become road warriors.

“We’ve been road warriors all year,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “Our guys have handled it well. Why? I know why we’ve done well on the road. Why we didn’t win more at home, we’ll talk about that in the offseason. But we’re not worried about going on the road, that’s for sure.”

The number of teams with eight road wins in a single season is small. And only two teams have won nine road games– the 2007 Giants and 2005 Steelers. Both teams went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks have their eyes on similar sights.

The only No. 5 or No. 6 teams to reach the Super Bowl with three straight road wins are the 2005 Steelers, the 2007 Giants, and the 2010 Packers. All three teams won the title.

Seattle does have a slight chance of playing a home game– if the No. 6 Minnesota Vikings beat the No. 1 San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks beat the No. 2 Green Bay Packers, Seattle would be the higher seed and host the Vikings in the NFC Championship.

But first, the Seahawks have to beat the Packers. That’s no easy task at Lambeau Field, where the Packers have an 18-5 postseason record. At Lambeau, Green Bay has an 11-3 record over Seattle all-time and the Packers have won their last eight games at home over the Seahawks. In the postseason, the Seahawks have never won in Green Bay.

“There’s no tougher place to play than going to Green Bay,” Carroll said. “We’re as ready as you can get. I like that. We’re gonna try to make the most of it.”

In addition to having one of the most intimidating fanbases in the league, Green Bay’s weather could also become a factor in Sunday evening’s game. The current forecast calls for below-freezing temperatures and snow.

The Seahawks also have some unknown factors that could work to their advantage. Sunday’s meeting will be Matt Lafleur’s first playoff appearance and the first playoff appearance for the Packers since the 2016 NFC Championship in Atlanta. And while the Packers average 25.6 points at home this season, Seattle averages 25.6 points on the road.

The Seahawks have put together an incredible run on the road this season. Continuing their road success is no longer option, but if they can continue to be road warriors as they battle their way through the NFC, they may find themselves with a ticket to Miami next month.





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Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins feud on Twitter: Perkins calls KD joining Warriors weakest move in NBA history


Kendrick Perkins is a member of the media now. Existing in the NBA media means being able to get a reaction out of fans, and when traditional takes fail to do that, many media members turn to hotter ones. So Perkins, on Twitter, shared a take that he planned to expand upon on a later appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter: Russell Westbrook, not Kevin Durant, is the greatest player ever to wear an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform. 

This naturally drew quite a bit of confused responses. Durant, by nearly every measure, is a better player than Westbrook. That is about as close to a fact as such arguments ever get. But when challenged, Perkins persisted. When fellow media member Marc D’Amico chimed in citing Westbrook’s failed playoff record without Durant, Perkins responded that Durant lost in the second round during his one Oklahoma City run without Westbrook. 

And that’s when Kevin logged on. 

Perkins, taking offense to this characterization, fired back with another take: that Durant’s move to Golden State was the “weakest in NBA history.”

Perkins and Durant are close friends, but this isn’t the first scuffle between the two in recent years. Perkins, while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers gave Durant the middle finger while he was talking to reporters during the 2018 NBA Finals, according to USA Today. That was apparently driven by competitive frustration. 

This seems to be over the line even by the standards of close friendship. Durant essentially blames a professional failing on Perkins, while Perkins, in turn, attacks Durant’s character over a separate professional decision. Despite their previous relationship, this seems more like the sort of Twitter debates Durant has engaged in with other media members of late than a couple of jokes between friends. Durant kept it going by calling Perkins’ lack of production weak. 

In fairness, Perkins was past his prime by the time he arrived in Oklahoma City. His scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking numbers all dropped, and his athleticism declined sharply after tearing his ACL during the 2010 NBA Finals. Perkins was not the defensive force the Thunder were hoping for when they acquired him at the 2011 trade deadline, and while he and Durant built a close relationship despite that, it certainly looks like Durant wasn’t thrilled with what he got out of Perkins on the floor. 

Perkins, meanwhile, would not move off of his stance. He even pushed things further by calling Durant a coward. 

There is no telling how far this feud will go, or what the fallout will look like. This sort of thing would ruin a normal friendship, but only time will tell if Durant and Perkins can come back from this. 





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Warriors trade rumors: Ben Simmons seen as trade target for D’Angelo Russell, but there are major hurdles


When the Golden State Warriors, resigned to the reality of losing Kevin Durant, executed a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell this past summer, they did so with subsequent flexibility in mind. Yes, they liked, and still like, Russell as a player. They gave him a four-year, $117 million contract. They have him long-term if they want him.

But if they want to go a different direction, Russell also represents a significant trade asset — 23-year-old All-Stars don’t grow on trees. There have been ongoing rumors about where Russell might ultimately be heading if the Warriors do decide to move him. The Timberwolves wanted him bad this summer, and indeed the Warriors have reportedly been monitoring things with Karl-Anthony Towns, who Ethan Strauss of The Athletic reported is less than thrilled with the situation in Minnesota

That’s a big name, but the Warriors potentially have a big-time package to offer with Russell and their 2020 first-round pick, which is on pace to be a high lottery selection, perhaps even No. 1 overall. Blockbuster deals are certainly in play for Golden State. Along those lines, here’s a name to get your head spinning: Ben Simmons

From Marcus Thompson of The Athletic

One of the interesting possibilities I’ve heard being kicked around is Russell for Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons. The 76ers could use a point guard who can score and run the show — and shoot. Some believe the pairing of Simmons and big man Joel Embiid isn’t viable in their pursuit of a championship. Simmons, as one source told me, is probably the best player the Warriors could possibly get for Russell, just considering the needs of the Warriors and their potential trade partners.

Thompson goes on to detail the Warriors’ concern over the potential fit of Simmons and Draymond Green, who could be seen as somewhat redundant in that they’re both point-forwards who can’t shoot. Said Thompson: “A couple of people in the organization straight out said that Simmons and Green don’t fit together.”

OK, let’s apply some perspective here. First, there’s a money issue. Russell is making $27.2 million this season, while Simmons, whose extension doesn’t kick in until 2020-21, is making $8.1 million. The Sixers are certainly not going to be the ones throwing in extra players to make the money work on a deal like this. Simmons is pretty universally regarded as a better player than Russell, even if Russell’s fit with Philly is potentially better. 

So forget a trade-deadline move. If this long-shot deal actually were to become realistic, it would have to happen in the offseason when Simmons’ annual salary jumps to $29.2 million. At that point, the money becomes easily navigable. Would the Warriors add in their 2020 first-round pick for a shot at Simmons? 

From a basketball standpoint, there would be highly intriguing possibilities to consider for both the Warriors and Sixers — though it has to be mentioned that if the Sixers were to become open to the idea of moving Simmons, the Warriors certainly wouldn’t be the only suitor, and players better than Russell would presumably become options.  

Now, back to the idea that Simmons and Green wouldn’t fit great together, it’s true, they do a lot of the same things and their collective inability to shoot would squeeze spacing, even with two of the greatest shooters to ever play mitigating at least some of that effect. 

It makes you wonder if the Warriors would consider including Draymond in a potential deal, if it were to get to that point. Simmons is essentially a younger, more athletic Green. The Sixers could include Al Horford in a two-for-two blockbuster swap. 

The Warriors likely wouldn’t want to add Horford’s long-term money, but he would fit Golden State well without a big man like Embiid to share space with, and he’d keep them competing for titles within the timelines of Curry and Thompson. Perhaps the Warriors would be willing to pay that price to hopefully lock in Simmons as their next franchise player as they transition into a post-Curry era. 

That’s a big-time hypothetical. Nobody has once mentioned Horford’s name in these rumors. But it’s no secret he hasn’t meshed with Embiid, or really anything the Sixers do, and Green shouldn’t be seen as untouchable as the Warriors delicately try to play for the present and future without compromising either. 

But let’s go back to the original rumor, Russell for Simmons, who in all likelihood would have to play next to Green if he were to ever don a Warriors uniform. Let’s not act like it couldn’t work. Golden State could play Simmons and Green as the two bigs and put a third shooter next to Curry and Thompson. We got a glimpse of Simmons in his most conducive setting when the Sixers put four shooters around him for long stretches in the 2018 playoffs. 

For a second, it looked like Philly was going to contend for a title right then and there, and that was with the likes of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova flanking Simmons. Not exactly Curry and Thompson. The basic question of what Green and Simmons would do when the other one has the ball is valid, but Steve Kerr is one of the most creative screening/movement coaches in the league. The Sixers should be using Simmons more as a screener as it is. The Warriors would open up that part of his game. 

Also, for all the potential offensive challenges playing Green and Simmons together might present, the defense would be off the charts. Both Simmons and Green can guard 1-5. Add in Klay Thompson, and Golden State would be back to switching like madmen and covering for Curry with elite perimeter defenders, which is another problem with putting Russell next to Curry. Together, they simply can’t guard elite backcourts. 

As far as the Sixers would be concerned, Russell is pretty perfect on the offensive end. All the things Simmons can’t do, he can. The Sixers run the fewest pick and rolls in the league because Simmons represents zero threat as a shooter coming off a high pick, and Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson are out of their depth as offensive focal points. 

Russell, meanwhile, is an elite pick-and-roll player. One scout told me earlier this season, in fact, that in his estimation Russell might be the best pick-and-roll player in the league. 

As mentioned above, Russell is also a natural fit with Embiid. Whereas Simmons and Embiid are often bumping heads in an effort to occupy the same interior space. Russell is a traditional shooter/ball-handler that would allow Embiid to grow as a roller and focus on dominating on the block. 

Philly would, of course, lose a lot defensively in flipping Simmons for Russell. Simmons is a legit Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and if he ever learns to shoot even a little bit, he’s going to be one of the best players in the world. Philly knows this. Everyone knows this. But if they don’t want to lose out on this title window and were to decide to make a hasty move solely for offensive-fit purposes, they do at least have enough perimeter defenders in Richardson, Harris and rookie Matisse Thybulle to reasonably space Simmons. 

The simple truth is the only thing standing between Philly and a realistic title shot is the one thing Simmons can’t do, at least not yet. I recently wrote that Philly should be knocking OKC’s door down trying to trade for Chris Paul for pretty much all the same reasons Russell would be a great fit, but the even greater upside with Russell is obviously his age and the fact that he’s not making nearly $85 million over the next two seasons after this one. Russell, in fact, is making less than $59 million. 

That’s a significant difference. Whereas Paul would be a win-now risk, Russell would provide a lot of the same short-term benefits with the added incentive that he’s a long-term asset, in both age and contract, who can potentially grow alongside Embiid for years to come. 

There’s a lot to like about the idea of this potential deal, for both sides. But there would also be a long way to go before something like this could ever happen. 





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Warriors To Waive Marquese Chriss


The Golden State Warriors will release former lottery pick Marquese Chriss, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports. Had Chriss remained on the Dubs’ roster through the end of Tuesday, his contract would have become guaranteed.

The Warriors took a chance on the 22-year-old big man during training camp and used him to plug a serious hole in their depleted front court. Chriss responded with 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in a minor rotation role.

Given that the guarantee deadline will pass before Chriss’ contract clears waivers, any team that commits to him will be committing to guaranteed money for the whole season.

The Warriors’ roster will drop to 13 players without Chriss but most importantly the team will free up the funds to add another body while remaining below the tax apron.

Golden State is content playing this season with 14 bodies but they’ll have to do it while hard-capped as a result of the D’Angelo Russell trade.





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Road warriors: Seahawks hoping away success continues in postseason – NFL Nation


SEATTLE — A few inches means the difference of about 2,400 miles for the Seattle Seahawks.

That’s how short they were of the end zone on their final play Sunday night and how far they’ll have to travel this week as a result.

Had Jacob Hollister crossed the goal line on his fourth-down catch instead of getting stopped just shy of it, the Seahawks would have beaten the San Francisco 49ers and claimed the NFC West title. That would have meant the conference’s No. 3 seed and a home game against the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. But the Seahawks’ 26-21 loss to San Francisco means they enter the playoffs as the No. 5 seed and will make a return trip to Philadelphia to play the Eagles (4:40 p.m. ET Sunday) as a wild-card team.

The Seahawks won at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 12 for one of their seven road victories this season, the most in franchise history. Those accomplishments seemed to counterbalance the disappointment of their last-second loss.

“We’ve been road warriors all year,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Our guys have handled it well. Why? I know why we’ve done well on the road. Why we didn’t win more at home, we’ll talk about that in the offseason. But we’re not worried about going on the road, that’s for sure.”

To be sure, the Seahawks would have preferred to spend wild-card weekend at home. They’ve won 10 straight playoff games at CenturyLink Field — including six under Carroll — since a wild-card loss to the St. Louis Rams in January 2005. But they haven’t had the same home-field advantage in the regular season that they once enjoyed and, for whatever reason, were a better team on the road this season (see chart). Their four home wins tied their fewest in 10 seasons under Carroll.

While talking about the Seahawks’ success on the road this season, Carroll has made more than one mention of how they’ve settled into their travel routine. For games on the West Coast or in Arizona or Denver, they’ll usually leave the day before. For any games in Central or Eastern time zones, it’s two days before so players will have longer to adjust to the time change. They went 5-0 this year in 10 a.m. PT kickoffs, which have historically been difficult for West Coast teams traveling east.

If there were such thing as a good year to have to reach the Super Bowl the hard way — with three straight road wins — is this it?

“Yeah, it’s going to have to be,” linebacker K.J. Wright said. “This is what we’re up against. We’re going on the road. Gotta do it three times. It’s been done before. Plenty of teams have done it.”



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