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News » Curry to start opener on Wednesday

Curry to start opener on Wednesday

Curry to start opener on Wednesday Stephen Curry will start alongside Monta Ellis in the Warriors' backcourt for Wednesday's night season opener against the Houston Rockets. And Don Nelson believes he has an idea on how to minimize any matchup problems the two 6-foot-3 guards may encounter on defense.

The Warriors began to install their zone defense during Saturday's 2 1/2 hour practice and will continue to work on it before opening night. If teams are taking advantage of the small guard lineup, as Houston will likely try to do if they start 6-8 Trevor Ariza at shooting guard, then Golden State may switch to a zone on the fly and force opponents to make shots from the outside.

"We have to shoot the ball, we've got to be fast, we've got to run. And if we do those things, it'll be a matchup problem for the other team," Nelson said. "If we don't, then we'll be at a disadvantage."

Andris Biedrins, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson are listed as the Warriors' frontcourt starters, as forward Anthony Randolph on Saturday went through shooting drills and strengthening exercises for his sore back.

Ellis and Curry practiced together on the same team Saturday and are still becoming familiar with each other, but they proved to be an effective tandem during Thursday's lopsided preseason win over New Orleans. And when Curry is replaced by Anthony Morrow on the floor, Ellis will switch to point. C.J. Watson will back up both positions, Nelson said.

But despite the dizzying offense numbers he and his fellow starting guard might be able to put up, Ellis said they still have to come up with a certain amount of stops.

"I think we'd be better off in the man-to-man," said Ellis, who aired his concerns during the team's media day last month about possibly playing along Curry. "But we have a couple of schemes and concepts where we can help each other out when we need to."

Curry, who is slated to be the first Warriors No. 1 draft pick since Todd Fuller in 1996 to be an opening night starter that same year, said the key to an effective zone is communication.

"I might be undersized, but I'll hold my own," Curry said. "I'll try to make it tough for (Ariza). He might make a shot or two over top of me, but it won't be a cake walk, put it that way."

? Jackson, who strained his right hamstring against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 20, participated in practice and should be ready to go on Wednesday, Nelson said. ... Swingman Kelenna Azubuike worked on shooting drills and conditioning on Saturday. Nelson is hoping Azubuike, who is bothered by a left ankle bone bruise, can practice again by early next week. Acie Law, who has impressed Nelson this month, is the backup small forward.

Rockets at Warriors ?Wednesday: at Golden State, 7:30 p.m. ?TV/Radio: CSN/KNBR (680)

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Added: October 26, 2009


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