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Tonight the Golden State Warriors take on the New Orleans Hornets in a game that features a number familiar faces on both ends, most notably Dominic McGuireCarl Landry and Jarrett Jack. For insight, I got in touch with SB Nation's Hornets site At the Hive.
In addition the Hornets feature some rookies you might have heard of.
For insight on the Hornets - and even how they might upset the Warriors at home (yes, we can actually be the team that is upset now which is sort of refreshing to even think) - I contacted Rohan of SB Nation's At the Hive for a quick pre-game Q&A with an opponent the Warriors will face for the first time tonight.
Q&A with At the Hive
1. First, the Hornets have recently signed Dominic McGuire, who I wouldn't call a Warriors fan favorite but someone who fans appreciated for his defensive effort. What are your early impressions of him?
Rohan: He's only played about 10 minutes, so it's really tough to say anything.
Many fans were concerned that Monty Williams -- who's consistently played older guys for their "experience" in favor of youth -- might end up emphasizing him over players like Xavier Henry and Al-Farouq Aminu, and McGuire's first game did nothing to alleviate those concerns.
2. The Warriors obviously signed both Landry and Jack this offseason. Have you had much chance to watch either and is there anything that surprises you about how they're playing now compared to how they did with the Hornets?
Rohan: I haven't been able to see the Warriors play too often unfortunately, but I definitely thought both of those were great moves.
The Hornets really could have used Jarrett Jack in the development of Anthony Davis, and it's still sort of unclear why they dumped him for nothing instead of waiting a bit longer.
3. Austin Rivers was a prospect that a lot of people had doubts about and although he's had a tough start to his NBA career he had something of a breakout game the other night against the T'Wolves.
How well would you say Rivers is progressing right now as a rookie?
Rohan: Outside of the Wolves game, he's been really, really poor -- missing the majority of his perimeter shots and finishing exceptionally poorly. Two important things though are the fact that his shot selection has been borderline impeccable (and I thought it was downright atrocious at Duke) and his crossover seems to have translated reasonably well to the pros.
4. Anthony Davis just recently rejoined the Hornets' lineup and although the Hornets haven't won in those four games, he's obviously an impact player. For those that haven't had a chance to catch him in action this season, how much impact has he had on the team as a rookie?
Rohan: It's a bit strange in that his offensive impact has been significantly more pronounced than his defensive one.
He's finishing around the rim really well, understands off-ball movement, and already has the makings of a solid mid-range game. Before the draft, I couldn't envision him as anything more than a 3rd-option type of player on offense, but he's shown that he can easily be more than that.
Defense has been more of a challenge, with bigger, stronger players backing him down with ease, and, a bit more troublingly, opponent offensive schemes consistently putting him out of position in terms of help defense. The Hornets have been horrible on defense (30th by defensive efficiency), and it's really been kind of weird to watch.
5. After a 6-1 road trip, a lot of Warriors fans see this game as one that should be a win and it's hard to see from the numbers what might suggest a loss at home...which means it could definitely be a trap.
But from your perspective, how might the Hornets be able to pull off an upset against the Warriors tonight?
Rohan: If the Hornets can find a way to rebound Warrior misses and take care of the ball, they could have a chance. Unfortunately, the perimeter defense has been sieve-like, and against the types of shooters Golden State has, that will likely be deadly.
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