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- The Golden State Warriors will be without reserve center Jermaine O’Neal tonight. O’Neal suffered a bruised right knee and a strained right groin in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 102-88 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. O’Neal’s status will be day-to-day, which is a better prognosis than Golden State originally anticipated. “Great news that it wasn’t as serious as it looked,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “Just thankful and looking forward to having him back as soon as possible. But obviously we’re going to stay true to the process like usual, get him treatment, get him proper rest and try to hold the fort down until he’s ready.”
- The Warriors signed 7-foot center Dewayne Dedmon as a call-up from the team’s Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz as insurance for O’Neal. Dedmon is the second player called up from the D-League this season, joining the Jazz’s Diante Garrett. Dedmon appeared in five preseason games with Golden State, and could get some playing time tonight. “He’s a guy we’re really familiar with,” Jackson said. ‘He understands what we’re doing on both sides of the basketball. It’s a luxury to have him. That’s what the D-League is for. Our guys do an incredible job of preparing these guys and keeping them ready. We’re fortunate to have him just a hop, skip and a jump away. … I’m absolutely not afraid to put him in the ballgame.”
- Alec Burks will make his third straight at point guard for the Jazz. Coach Tyrone Corbin is playing Burks in his starting lineup again to help match-up with Golden State’s size and athleticism in its backcourt.
- Corbin provided some injury updates on his short-handed team. He said both Jeremy Evans and Andris Biedrins are making progress on returning to the court. On Brandon Rush: “Not tonight.” And most relevant because of what the Jazz are counting on from him, rookie point guard Trey Burke is about ready for full-contact workouts. Burke is recovering from right index finger surgery. “I’m encouraged by his progress so far,” Corbin said.
- Jackson said his team needs to have the right mindset in order to beat Utah tonight. Obviously, the 7-3 Warriors are expected to beat the 1-10 Jazz, but Jackson mentioned how championship teams lose games when they overlook their opponents. He expects Golden State to start the same way it did against Utah on Saturday when the Warriors raced to a 14-point lead in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way. “Those are the tougher games to play,” Jackson said of games a team plays when it is supposed to win. “It’s easy to get up for guys like Oklahoma City when you’re staring across the court and you see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The good teams find ways to do it against teams they’re supposed to beat. This (Utah) is a team that is well coached. They play extremely hard. We have to come out with the right mentality because if we don’t we could very easily lose to them.”
– Andrew Aragon