The Golden State Warriors will start rookie Harrison Barnes at small forward when Mark Jackson's team hosts Maccabi Haifa on Thursday, CSN Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz reports. The seventh-overall pick has been one of the first players off the bench in two preseason games while Brandon Rush, the 13th-overall pick from the 2008 draft, has started.
With the starting small forward spot up in the air, Jackson will get a feel for Barnes's fluid scoring ability with the first unit, one that should have point guard Stephen Curry ready to go after he tested out his ankle during his Monday debut, an 83-80 victory against the Utah Jazz.
Through two games, Rush and Barnes have earned around 45 minutes each. In that time, Rush has scored 23 points while Barnes has scored 22 points, though neither has been particularly effective in the rebounding department.
In his first season with Golden State last year, Rush had one of his best seasons during his four-year NBA career. He averaged 9.8 points and grabbed 3.9 rebounds per game, but his shooting percentage that had lingered around the 42 percent mark shot to 50 percent in 2011-12.
The Warriors also have veteran Richard Jefferson on the roster at the small forward position.