OAKLAND -- The Warriors -- and swingman Andre Iguodala -- make their return to Denver on Monday night.
It will mark the first meeting between the teams since Golden State upset Denver in the playoffs last spring, and it represents an intriguing homecoming for Iguodala. Not only did Iguodala play for Denver last season, but he also has been accused of being a "mole" by former Nuggets coach George Karl.
Karl told a Denver freelance writer in November that he thought Iguodala fed information to the Warriors during the playoff series. Warriors coach Mark Jackson had claimed to have "inside information" that the Nuggets planned to play rough, especially against star guard Stephen Curry.
Iguodala was not available for comment Sunday as the Warriors called off practice before heading to Denver.
Speights has scored in double figures in three of the six games O'Neal has missed, including a 10-point, three-rebound effort in the win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.
"He's been playing exceptionally well off the bench the last six games after struggling for most of the early part of the season," Jackson said. "We needed him especially when Jermaine went down, and he has not disappointed."
Speights said he was looking to improve even before O'Neal's injury, but the loss of O'Neal has pressed the issue, and Speights is responding.
"Before Jermaine went out, I felt like I still needed to get better," Speights said. "At the beginning of the year, I wasn't really playing at my level of basketball. But now I'm getting the opportunities to do the things I can do."
For more on the Warriors, go to our blog at www.ibabuzz.com/warriors.
Warriors (15-13) at Denver (14-12), 6 p.m. CSNBA