OAKLAND – After 14 consecutive starts to open the season, Warriors center Andrew Bogut will not be in the lineup or even in uniform Tuesday night. His absence is not related to health or injury.
Bogut will miss the game at New Orleans because he'll be serving a one-game suspension for his part in a Warriors-Trail Blazers skirmish during a 113-101 loss last Saturday at Oracle Arena.
The NBA on Monday announced fines and suspensions related to a brief scuffle, occurring in the third quarter, precipitated by a tussle between Bogut and Portland backup center Joel Freeland punctuated by a Bogut forearm that appeared to miss Freeland.
I'm not happy with it," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after practice Monday. "But you've got to accept and move on."
In addition to Bogut's suspension, Warriors backup forward Draymond Green was hit with a $20,000 fine for his involvement. Blazers guard Mo Williams also received a one-game suspension. Forward LaMarcus Aldridge was nailed with a $45,000 fine, with Wesley Matthews being docked $20,000.
"I haven't seen any of the replays," point guard Stephen Curry said. "But from being on the court and seeing how it started, I feel like he was a part of the beginning, but he's not the reason it flared to the extent that it did."
Jackson said backup center Jermaine O'Neal, who has not played since bruising his right knee and straining his right groin Nov. 16, participated in practice and "possibly" could replace Bogut in the starting lineup against the Pelicans.
"We're going to have to fill in by committee," said power forward David Lee, who could see some time at center, as could rookie Dewayne Dedmon.
"We're going to miss him," Jackson said of Bogut. "Even last year in New Orleans, he had a big game offensively; we ran (our offense) through him for a period of time. If Jermaine plays, he can do some of those things. We utilize him that way off the bench. But if he doesn't, somebody else has to step up."
That's the way it's been for an 8-6 Warriors team that only twice this season has had its full roster available for an entire game. O'Neal continues to be listed as "day to day," while forward Andre Iguodala (strained left hamstring) and backup point guard Toney Douglas (stress reaction, left tibia) are listed as "out" for Tuesday's game.
THE GOOD: Despite fouling out in the loss to Portland, guard Klay Thompson rediscovered the shooting touch he'd lost when Curry missed two games with symptoms from a concussion sustained Nov. 18. It's not a coincidence. Curry's mere presence opens up the entire offense, allowing better floor spacing, and nobody benefits more than Thompson.
THE BAD: Even with Curry's return, the Warriors continued to founder in the second half and fourth quarter, outscored by the Blazers, 64-47, in the second half, 32-17 in the fourth quarter. The Lakers last Friday used an 18-4 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to put away the Warriors. Two days before that, Memphis rode to victory with a 54-37 second-half advantage.
"We've struggled," Jackson said. "We own it and we look forward to getting it right."
THE FUTURE: First up on the four-game road trip are the Pelicans, led by second-year big man Anthony Davis, forward Ryan Anderson (a former Cal star) and guards Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans. All five average double figures in scoring, as does backup center Jason Smith.