OAKLAND (AP) — There are days David Lee plays enough minutes he can find a little flow, then others when the former All-Star forward sits for long stretches or never leaves Golden State’s bench at all.
It’s one of the hardest decisions first-year coach Steve Kerr has made while leading the Western Conference’s hottest team, and even harder for Lee. He is a role player for the first time since early in his 10-year NBA career.
“This is a really tricky one,” Kerr said. “David’s a great player. He’s been an All-Star. He’s still in his prime.”
Lee, a 2005 first-round draft pick who will turn 32 next month, has decided this is the season he will show the basketball world he can be a supportive teammate.
The winning makes it worth it.
Lee vows to stay ready, and plans to contribute in some way come playoff time.
“First of all, I still have a job, and that’s to be cheering on my teammates,” he said. “When we get a win, to me it’s a successful day. You realize that there have been plenty of times I’ve been the one out there playing 40 minutes and there have been guys that haven’t gotten in.”
Lee didn’t play at all in games against Phoenix and Detroit last week, then went 31 minutes at Denver last Friday as Kerr rested his regulars. On Saturday against his former Knicks, Lee checked in with 47 seconds left in the first and played 24 minutes. He made 5 of 6 field goals to finish with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block.
In Monday night’s narrow win against the Lakers, he played 12 minutes. Lee is averaging 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds playing just under 19 minutes a game.
ut, rocking Oracle Arena.
Warriors’ Klay Thompson out with sprained ankle
OAKLAND (AP) — Another All-Star shooter will be sidelined when the NBA’s top teams meet Wednesday night.
Golden State guard Klay Thompson will sit out against East-leading Atlanta with a sprained right ankle. The West-leading Warriors say Thompson will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days.
Thompson turned his ankle awkwardly as he stepped on Tarik Black’s foot in the third quarter of Golden State’s 108-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. Thompson had his ankle re-taped in the locker room and returned in the fourth quarter, finishing with a game-high 26 points.
Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver is out at least another two games after breaking his nose in a win against the Lakers on Sunday. Korver went out after absorbing an offensive foul from Ed Davis.