OAKLAND, Calif. – Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson says Jermaine O'Neal will start in place of injured center Andrew Bogut for Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Jackson said Friday that he wants O'Neal to start because it's easier for the 35-year-old veteran to stay loose. He also says O'Neal provides a similar skillset to Bogut, who is out indefinitely with a fractured right rib.
The Warriors will use smaller lineups with David Lee or Marreese Speights at center and Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes at power forward when O'Neal is not in the game.
O'Neal averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 44 games this season, his 18th in the NBA. He sat out 25 games following surgery on his right wrist in December and also missed time with injuries to his right foot, groin and both knees.