Tipoff: 730pm PST
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680
Blog Buddy: Sactown Royalty
Things have gotten so bad for both teams, neither NBA team website has a preview for this game. So let us divert our attention to the more interesting topic. At this point, sitting at 6-12, would you (loyal Warriors fan) rather have Keith Smart, who is 4-9 since he took over, or Mark Jackson? Vote below!
Hit the jump for the preview...
Here are the matchups for tonight's 2012 cellar-dweller-era...
- Combo guard slot #1: Stephen Curry vs Jimmer Fredette. The Jimmer! This should be a most interesting matchup. Steph on a painful ankle against Jimmer's slow lateral movement. I often joked last year that Jimmer could be a bigger Steph. We'll see. Jimmer's averaged 16.5 ppg in the last four games, making more treys than two-pointers in each of those games.
- Combo guard slot #2: Monta Ellis vs Tyreke Evans. Man, if we could combine these two into one player, we'd probably have a bonafide elite 2-guard a la Mitch Richmond, albeit with markedly worse outside shooting percentage than the future Hall-of-Famer (yep!). Monta should be able to stay in front of Tyreke, as long as he's trying. On the flip side, Tyreke should be able to outmuscle Monta to the hoop, and probably won't be able to stay in front of Monta. But look for Monta to have a breakout game after deferring to Steph two games ago vs the Blazers, then having a subpar performance against the Thunder.
- "Swingman" who should be working on the other part: Dorell Wright vs John Salmons. Again, if we could combine these two, we'd have an all-star. Dorell obviously can be a knock-down stand-still spot-up shooter (seems like the more dashes you have to describe yourself, the less likely an all-star you are), while Salmons is particularly good at driving to the hoop while his outside shot is suspect. Warriors assistant Pete Myers coached Salmons during their stays with the Bulls, so hopefully the Warriors can keep Salmons in check. This matchup probably won't be at the forefront because if Brandon Rush comes in and has a solid game, Dorell might be on the bench for awhile. After all, only one of them can play at the same time. It is in the NBA rule book, I think.
- Unathletic power forward: David Lee vs Jason Thompson. Let's see if D.Lee can continue the good knuckleball shooting. When that's on, against an unathletic defender, D.Lee can be "unstoppable" (baby!). But if that's not falling, yikes. We'll see soon enough, because D.Lee is Option Number Two. According to the NBA media notes, Thompson is shooting 65% through the last three games.
- Center: AndrEkpe Udoh vs DeMarcus Cousins. Yup, that two-headed monster we have securing the paint starts out as Andris Biedrins then quickly morphs into Ekpe Udoh. Seriously though, per Steiny-Mo, you might see Beans a little more tonight, since he's the better post defender. I didn't think AB had done anything to put himself on the bench after 9 minutes against OKC the other night, but maybe it will help his pysche. Here's the weird line of thinking. He knows he might get yanked, so he further maximizes his opportunities out there knowing he could be back on the bench quick-style.
- Bench: Once again, it's like the Warriors strengths are exactly what the Kings are missing, and vice versa. I really like the Kings roster upfront: Donte Greene at 6'11", J.J. Hickson, and the project, Hassan Whiteside. For the Warriors, again we'll see if Klay Thompson and Rush can continue stroking it, if Nate Robinson has more spectacular plays than brain farts, and Jeremy Tyler can continue his hustle and slow developmental trend towards the ultimate goal of beasting. My prediction: Klay has an off night because that's what happens with rookies. On the other hand, Nate had a few IQ blunders last game, so expect him to bust out the cape tonight.
- Washington connection: Nate Robinson vs Isaiah Thomas. These two are very close friends and it might be interesting if they are matched up together at any given point. Per the NBA media notes:
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 13.3 ppg inthe last three games. Thomas is shooting .688 (11-16 FG) from the field and .833 (5-6 3pt) from 3-point range in the last two games.
If you're in the doldrums by both teams' records and Mark Jackson's insistence that the Warriors still have a chance at the playoffs, focus on the performance of DeMarcus Cousins. In Summer League two years ago, you could see the talent oozing and he and John Wall were clearly the two best players that summer. I know that if I were running the Warriors, first of all I'd be particular strong in the psychology side of the game with my staff, and I'd have DeMarcus very high on my list. But some higher-ups just don't know how to deal with players whose passion for the game is scattered all over the place.
Straight from the NBA media notes...
DeMarcus Cousins has recorded double-doubles in five in the last six games. Cousins is averaging 15.2 ppg and 11.6 rpg in the last 13 contests.
I've been poking fun at both teams, but in all seriousness, it's ironic how both franchises have not been the same since the departure of Chris Webber at each location. Ah, memories.