Warriors (17-9) vs Bobcats (7-18)
Tip-Off: 7:30PM PST
TV: CSN Bay Area | Radio: KNBR 680
Blog Buddy: Rufus on Fire
I think the Warriors are good enough to have trap games. Wednesday's Kings game may have been one of them: a subpar team, in Sacramento but in a Sleep Train Arena filled with Warrior fans, following a tremendous road trip and home win against the Hornets the night before. And in typical trap game fashion, the Warriors had a terrible start, were out-hustled, and ultimately didn't recover from the shock of getting hit in the mouth.
Well here we go again. The Charlotte Bobcats, who we beat earlier this month 104-96, are in Oakland looking to steal one. And if this Warriors team isn't ready for it, they might be in for another shocker.
It's drawn up as a bounce-back game, a gimme that they can use to get back on track. The Cats have possibly the worst defense in the league. And they've lost a jaw-dropping 13 games in a row, and would be easy to overlook because of it.
But they narrowly lost to the Lakers just two games ago, and followed that up with a real stinker against the Phoenix Suns. They let the letdown of missing out on a Los Angeles victory sink them against the Suns, and you just know they themselves are looking to bounce back with a strong performance.
Now, the Cats don't have nearly the frontline of the Kings. And while Kemba Walker is the kind of quick guard that gives the Warriors fits (and he did get to the line 12 times against us just 11 days ago), he's just one man. (Unless you count Ben Gordon as a second Kemba Walker.) I don't see the same matchup problems that the Kings create for this team.
But that's all just part of the trap. It looks like a winnable game. A sure thing. And boy would it be nice to get this game out of the way, since the Lakers are in town Saturday night.
Strangely, I have some faith that Mark Jackson is going to recognize the dangers here, and get his squad playing hard. Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Carl Landry all had forgettable games on Tuesday, and this would be a good chance to fire them up and get them rolling.
It all starts with Stephen Curry and David Lee. Curry had a bad defensive showing on Tuesday, and Lee had somewhat of a no-showing in the second half of that game. But both of them feasted on the Cats the last time they faced off, and they've been consistent for so much of this stretch that I believe we'll see the same again.
Unless they fall in or get caught.