Warriors to start Livingston, Casspi, Bell again vs. Dallas

Warriors to start Livingston, Casspi, Bell again vs. Dallas By Mark Medina, Bay Area News Group Posted:

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OAKLAND — This time, Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not keep everyone guessing.

With Warriors guard Stephen Curry (right ankle), forward Draymond Green (sore right shoulder) and center Zaza Pachulia (sore left shoulder) sidelined once again for Thursday’s game against Dallas at Oracle Arena, Kerr revealed he will start veterans Shaun Livingston and Omri Casspi as well as rookie Jordan Bell for the second consecutive game. Warriors guard Klay Thompson and forward Kevin Durant will start as always. Advertisement

While Livingston will start at point guard, Casspi will slide at the small forward spot and Bell will shift to the center position. Kerr has employed varying combinations at point guard during Curry’s absence, including Livingston and guard Quinn Cook. Warriors second-year Patrick McCaw guard started in Curry’s absence when Curry sat against Sacramento on Nov. 27 with a right hand contusion.

“Normally I like to have Shaun in the starting lineup,” Kerr said. “He gives us a steadying force.”

Kerr also has considered matchups, such as when he started Cook last week in Charlotte against point guard Kemba Walker. Kerr also noted Green’s absence “affects who starts at point guard” because the Warriors coach is “starting to get certain combinations.”

With the Warriors (22-6) entering Thursday’s game against the Mavericks (8-2) with a seven-game winning streak, Kerr warned his players before and after morning shootaround not to take their opponent lightly. Though the Warriors handed the Mavericks a 133-103 loss on Oct. 23 in Dallas, Kerr considers the matchup a “total, natural letdown” because of the Warriors’ depth and Dallas’ record. The Warriors are also without three starters, and the Mavericks have gone 5-5 in their past 10 games.

“We have to have our guard up,” Kerr said. “Otherwise, it could be a long night.”

The Warriors, though, have made it a long night recently for their opponents. The Warriors have matched their season-high winning streak despite recent injuries to Curry (missed past three games), Green (missed two of past three games) and Pachulia (missed three of past four games). Warriors reserve guard/forward Nick Young will also sit out Thursday against Dallas after suffering a concussion on Monday against Portland.

“We’re lucky we have so much talent and we’re lucky to be in the position that we are,” Kerr said. “We can still win games with the injuries we have. Most teams don’t have that luxury when they’re missing several key guys. But our team is equipped to handle that.”