Preview & Game Thread #21: Golden State Warriors At Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings (7-15) vs. Golden State Warriors (8-12)

TV: CSN Bay Area / Radio: KNBR 680

Tip-Off: 7:00pm

Blog Buddy: Sactown Royalty

The Golden State Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings 93-90 on Tuesday in a game when the bench came up big to carry the team. Atma Brother ONE already summarized the main points, but perhaps a brief look at the stats from Tuesday will help us know what to expect for tonight's rematch in Sactown.

What happened Tuesday:

  • Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis combined for 15 points on 6-for-24 shooting: The likelihood of this happening again against the same team would certainly seem slim.
  • The Warriors committed only 8 turnovers: To Curry & Ellis' credit, they also combined for 12 assists and just 1 turnover, which meant the Warriors did get some efficient distributing from their starting backcourt. Nate Robinson came off the bench for another 5 assists to just 1 turnover. When the teams' lead ball handlers are playing that well, good things follow from the rest of the unit.
  • The Warriors got crushed on the boards, 53-38: The Warriors are not a particularly good rebounding team and the Kings took advantage, particularly on the offensive boards - the Kings got 29.3% of their available offensive rebounds compared to only 18% for the Warriors. Three Kings - including Tyreke Evans who was one assist shy of a triple-double - had double digit rebounds. The Warriors just struggle with the Kings' athleticism in the frontcourt.

What to expect tonight:

  • Curry will put up more shots: There's something else to note about Curry's game on Tuesday night: his usage rate was only 14.9%, a season-low. Sacramento didn't allow him much at the rim or from the 16-23 foot range, where he normally gets more shots. It will be interesting to see just how the Warriors can put him in better position to get shots after the last game. One would also have to assume that Curry and Ellis will be more efficient than 6-for-24, but getting shots up is a start for Curry.
  • The turnover battle will not end so heavily in favor of the Warriors: Finding more shots for Curry will be particularly important because the chances of the Warriors having a ball handling game that much better than average again would seem slim. That means less points off turnovers and makes finding more shots for Curry all the more important.
  • The Warriors will get beat on the boards again: However, forcing turnovers and getting transition points will be important for the Warriors because the Kings are going to get a number of second chance scoring opportunities with their offensive rebounding ability (best offensive rebounding team in the Western Conference with a 29.68% offensive rebounding rate). Once again, the Warriors will just have to find a way to live with that and the combination of bench production and Kings' turnovers got the job done on Tuesday. But Tuesday's game probably wasn't representative of what we'll see tonight.
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