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Morning shootaround — March 17


VIDEO: Highlights from Wednesday’s games

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Warriors head on road looking sharp | New images of Bucks’ proposed arena unveiled | Bulls’ Gasol to miss more games | Waiters returns to OKC lineup

No. 1: Warriors embark on road trip looking sharp — The Golden State Warriors haven’t lost a game since a March 6 slip-up on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, they’ve won six in a row — all of them in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena — as they ready for a three-game road trip (highlighted by a Saturday showdown with San Antonio on ABC). As they get ready to leave town, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle points out that last night’s win against the New York Knicks might have been one of the Warriors’ most complete efforts in a while:

When this week’s defensive assignments were rattled off to Draymond Green, he said: “Man, tough, right?”

What’s becoming increasingly clear is that Green actually was talking about how tough it was going to be on his opponents.

A game after helping limit Anthony Davis to 6-for-20 shooting, Green made New York’s 7-foot-3 rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis a non-factor during a 1-for-11 shooting performance that allowed the Warriors to run away with a 121-85 victory Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

“I thought Draymond was brilliant,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “A great night for him. He was passing the ball, rebounding, defending and taking care of the ball. … He sees the game. He knows what’s happening at all times. Tonight was a fantastic game for him.”

Green had six points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Warriors outscored the Knicks by 31 points in his 29 minutes.

Of course, these Warriors aren’t about individual accolades. They’re chasing team history.

The Warriors (61-6) have won an NBA-record 50 straight regular-season home games and remained a game ahead of the pace of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won a single-season-record 72 games.

“History,” Warriors reserve big man Marreese Speights said. “We keep making history. Everything we do from now on is history.”

After a blip in Los Angeles on March 6, the Warriors resolutely marched through a 6-0 homestand, settling their play and monitoring minutes just in time for a three-game trek to Dallas, San Antonio and Minnesota.

“That was probably our most complete game in a while,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “Forty-eight minutes of complete focus.”

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No. 2: More detailed renderings of Bucks’ new arena revealed — The Milwaukee Bucks are working with the city and state officials to hopefully break ground on a new arena in July. While much of what happens next with the arena remains up in the air, the Bucks did unveil some more detailed images of their proposed arena to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel yesterday. Mary Louise Schumacher, the newspaper’s art and architecture critic, details the images and the unique look of the proposed facility (there’s a gallery here) which was confirmed by the team this morning via an official release:

The first detailed glimpse of the new downtown Milwaukee arena reveals a giant building with a dramatically arcing roof, curving body, tall sheets of glass, social spaces — and a few challenges yet to overcome.

The Milwaukee Bucks will share the development plans with the City of Milwaukee on Thursday; several renderings were released in advance to the Journal Sentinel. They are considerably more detailed than the conceptual renderings released in April 2015 and represent the first step in a public design approval process that’s required for construction to begin.

More importantly, they underscore the broader vision for the signature project, which has been both controversial and more anticipated than any downtown project since the Milwaukee Art Museum addition designed by Santiago Calatrava.

“I think in 10 or 20 years from now, you’ll look back and say this was the spark that changed downtown Milwaukee,” said Brad Clark of Populous, one of the lead architects on the job. The architects are careful to describe the submitted plans as in-progress.

The shape of the 714,000-square-foot arena’s arcing roof has changed subtly from initial plans. The abstract, wavelike form begins near the base of the building on W. Juneau Ave. and arcs dramatically over the glassy entrance.

The roof is the “big move,” the statement of the $500 million building, said Clark. It will be clad in long, thin zinc panels chemically treated to achieve a gritty, brown-rust patina. The matte panels can take on a leather-like look and will change appearance in varying types of light, said Gabe Braselton, one of the lead project managers at Populous.

The windows will be treated with a ceramic silk-screen pattern to accentuate the curvy shape of the building. The glass will be more transparent where the exterior bulges and more opaque near the base and roof.

The ceramic treatment — called fritting — will be used in varying degrees of opaqueness on horizontal bars of glass on the glassy entrance, which remains similar to designs revealed last year.

The exterior facades facing 6th St. and Highland Ave., which will be opened up to traffic according to the plan, are also being seen for the first time. The 6th St. side of the building, featuring a 30-foot-tall section that is distinct from the main arena structure, features a smaller entrance, a functioning mechanical yard and an enclosed loading dock.

The architects have also decided to construct the arena completely above ground, which presents additional challenges, including creating a welcome environment for pedestrians. It means the whole volume of the building is visible, making it taller and tighter to the edges of the site than originally hoped for.

Proximity to the water table prevented the below-grade approach. “It was a multi-multimillion dollar challenge,” Clark said. Still, the arena will be shorter by about 25 feet than its predecessor, the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Inside, the arena is designed to accommodate a variety of events, from basketball to ice shows to rodeos.

The lobby is a soaring 90 feet tall, meant to be a place of occasion and people watching, with grand staircases flanking each side. Every level of the arena opens up into this space, offering city views. Columns are angled to give the lobby a more dynamic feel.

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No. 3: Bulls’ Gasol to miss more games — The Chicago Bulls are about as banged up as any team in the NBA, and apparently, things won’t be getting better for them anytime soon. All-Star forward Pau Gasol missed the last two games with a knee injury and after last night’s loss to the Washington Wizards, coach Fred Hoiberg revealed Gasol won’t be back on the court anytime soon. ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell has more:

In the midst of another postgame press conference in which he was forced to describe the fallout of a lackluster defeat, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that All-Star center Pau Gasol would be out for at least “a few games.”

Gasol has missed the last two games because of a swollen right knee and a timetable for his return to the lineup remains unclear after Hoiberg’s admission following a 117-96 loss to the Washington Wizards.

“With Joakim [Noah] out for the season. With Pau out for, we don’t know exactly how long, but for the next few games for sure,” Hoiberg said, while describing his frontcourt’s issues. “With Taj [Gibson] out, it makes it tough. Bobby [Portis] and Cris [Felicio] are going to have to go out and get us minutes. Cam Bairstow‘s banged up as well. His back is not allowing him to play as well. You’ve got to go with what you have.”

Gibson’s hamstring injury forced him to leave Wednesday’s game in the second quarter. Hoiberg said Gibson would be reevaluated on Thursday. The Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

“Just a tight hamstring, man,” Gibson said. “It’s frustrating [that] it’s tight. I tried to go out there and give it a go, and this one you’ve got to listen to your body.”

With Gasol out and now Gibson likely out for at least a game or two, the Bulls are going to have to rely even more on young players such as Portis, Felicio and Nikola Mirotic to pick up the slack.

“We’ll have to evaluate it,” Gibson said of the hamstring. “Understand that the playoff race is close. We’ll need everybody. I feel something positive coming. I don’t know how many days [the recovery] will take but we’ll have to reevaluate it. Just trying to be there for the guys. It was frustrating tonight early.”

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No. 4: Waiters rejoins Thunder after brother’s death — The Oklahoma City Thunder have had their share of tragedy lately as part-owner Aubrey McClendon died in a fiery car wreck and, before that, the brother of reserve shooting guard Dion Waiters was killed and assistant coach Monty Williams‘ wife died in a car accident. Williams has since left the team for the rest of the season and Waiters hasn’t played in a game for OKC since a March 6 road win in Milwaukee. Waiters was back in the lineup last night against the Boston Celtics and opened up to ESPN.com’s Royce Young about the loss of his brother:

Waiters’ brother, Demetrius Pinckney, was shot in the head on March 8 in South Philadelphia after an argument and dirt bike chase, police said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:01 p.m. local time.

“I probably haven’t cried like that since I lost my third cousin,” Waiters said following shootaround. “You know, I lost three cousins and my best friend. So this is like a replay. Every time something is going good, going great, there’s always something to remind you that it’s reality.

“I probably won’t be happy for a while. Long time, probably. I feel as though I could’ve done something different.”

Waiters isn’t unfamiliar with tragedy. In 2006, his older cousin Antose Brown was shot to death. A year later, in separate incidents just three months apart, he lost another cousin, Isiah Brown, and close friend, Rhamik Thomas, who were both fatally shot.

“I realize how important it is to cherish life to enjoy and take full advantage of the life you’re living,” Waiters said. “That’s one thing I can put in perspective now, because I always question ‘why.’ But you can’t question why, things just happen. It’s a reality check for a lot of people, including myself.

“I’m not going to get over it. I think about it all day, every day. He’s never coming back. I hate talking about it because I get emotional, but it’s just sad, man. It’s sad because I feel as though I played a big role in his life. I helped him get away from that and he saw the bigger picture. I feel as though I was a little too late. That’s all.”

Waiters said he’s felt the love and support of his teammates and coaches since return. But Kevin Durant said he can definitely see the impact the situation has had.

“He’s been real quiet,” Durant said. “It’s a difficult situation as a friend to approach him, because you want to give him space but you also want to let him know you’re there for him. But he knows. He knows. We’ve been texting and keeping in contact when he wasn’t here just letting him know we support him.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin likely won’t be back until sometime in April … San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is an advocate of the NBA doing away with shootarounds … Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard (shoulder) will miss tonight’s game against the Spurs … After passing Mike Bibby for 24th on the all-time 3-pointers list, Stephen Curry is on pace for 400 3-pointers this season … Speaking of the Golden State Warriors, they will not have Andre Iguodala, Festus Ezeli or rookie Kevon Looney available for their upcoming three-game road trip … For the record, Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday says he wasn’t listening to Drake‘s taunts during the end of this week’s win over the Toronto Raptors …

2 Comments

  1. It seems like Blake Griffin will not be available at all; not even for playoffs; he still has to serve his 4 day suspension. Hopefully the Flippers can make it through the first round….

  2. Aakash Srinivasan says:

    Porzingis was really bad yesterday. Do you think the Mavericks are doing well though? Dirk is certainly doing his part, but they have lost the last 5 of 6😦


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