OPEN THREAD - GAME #42: Warriors @ Bucks

Warriors (W-L): 24-17
Bucks (W-L): 16-23
TV: FSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680
Time: 5:30 pm

The road trip against sub .500 teams continues. There's some good stuff after the jump- and you don't even have to pay big bucks!

The last time these two teams squared off back in early December the Warriors were recovering from their 0-6 start with a hot streak and the Bucks were flirting with the .500 mark. It was an Yi-sy 30 point win for the Warriors and you'd hope this edition of Saturday night hoops would be over fast as well. Since that game the Warriors have been flirting with .600 and the Bucks are simply wondering "What the buck is going on?" They've even been rumored to be willing to take Zach Randolph of Isiah's hands (ouch!).

The Bucks are a bad team and their record doesn't reflect that accurately enough. If they were in the West they'd be in 10 win territory, but alas the East is still the Least. There's no reason why this Warriors cast should lose to the Bucks team on any given night.

Well except for fatigue. In getting last night's nice W against the Bulls Nellie had to play Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson well over 44 minutes each. Al Harrington and Matt Barnes also played over 32 minutes each, so it's not like they're well rested either. The Warriors best players are understandably going to be very tired and sore for tonight's brewery battle.

I can't blame Nellie one bit though. He did what he had to do to get a road win. Seeing what I've seen so far from the deepest depths of his bench crew I'd be hesitant to play them as well. I think it's a cry for help from Nellie for a roster shakeup before the February trading deadline. Hopefully something can get done. It's near the 2k7-2k8 season's midpoint and the Warriors are in the odd situation of being 4.5 games out of the #1 spot in the West and 1 game out of being gone fishing early and counting Super Lotto Balls for the 13th time in 14 years. The Warriors don't exactly hold the tie-breaker with the current 9th seed either.

We of course can't forget tonight's possible Warrior Killers. My nominees are Michael Redd, Yi Jianlian, and Andrew Bogut.

I'm not convinced Redd is a great ball handler, so I'd jam him as soon as touches the rock and force him to create and drive to the basket. Let's hope he doesn't make me look too foolish for suggesting that.
Redd's Warrior Killer chances: 75-25

To tell you the truth I'd be surprised if Yi even gets to attempt more than 7 or 8 shots playing alongside the ball hog guards on the Bucks. After the Warriors squashed the Bucks into pennies in Oakland, Al Harrington joked that he was leaving Yi wide open and the Bucks still weren't getting him the ball. I'm guessing the Bucks' coaches checked out the video tape of that game and won't make the same mistake this time around.
Yi's Warrior Killer chances: 50-50

Bogut is an interesting player (+hater- if you read his comments this past summer). At 7 feet 245 pounds he has the size and natural skillset with his passing to be worth his #1 overall status (ahead of guys like Chris Paul and Deron Williams- oops!), but he seems a little slow. His lack of footspeed might actually not be that big of a liability against the Warriors on the second night of a back to back on the road though. Will the Dubs have their legs for this one? If they do, Bogut will be rendered useless in a such a high paced game. If they don't, watch out.
Bogut's Warrior Killer chances: 25-75

For the most bang for your buck peep Brew Hoop: Warriors/Bucks: Preview | Q&A: Frank from Brew Hoop. Milwaukee's finest posted this in their preview:

The season is far too young to fairly judge rookies. Many are barely out of their teens, and many more haven't played significant minutes. Three years later, the jury is still out on Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams, as Wednesday's game showed. Certainly though, no one in Milwaukee is complaining about the Bucks' sixth overall pick, Yi Jianlian. Brandan Wright, chosen two spots later by the Warriors, was a big-time prospect on draft night and an attractive option to many in Bucks Nation. Wright could still be a special player, but Yi Jianlian is already a solid pro. Wright is averaging 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.4 minutes in 14 games this year.

If there's one thing I can guarantee you it's that The Movement and The Wright Thing will not be having an epic battle against one another tonight. Think it'll ever happen someday?

 

Predictions:

  • Warriors by 5.
  • Monta drops 25+ points as he continues to collect gaudy stats against bad teams.
  • Yi Jianlian gets a double-double in points and rebounds and sprinkles in a few blocks.
  • Al Harrington recovers from last night's dismal shooting performance to drop 17+ points.
  • Michael Redd drops 30+ points.
  • Nellie finds a way to make Marco Belinelli, Brandan Wright, and Patrick O'Bryant earn their paychecks tonight.
  • You want a ton of links about The Yi Movement (below).

 

The Yi Movement Anthology:


It ain't Yi-sy being Yi!
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

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