The Santa Cruz Warriors open up 2013 at Kaiser Permanente Arena against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, which should give the Warriors their first test at home.
Santa Cruz Warriors (8-2) vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce (8-5)
2 p.m. PST
Kaiser Permanente Arena - Santa Cruz, CA
Video stream: YouTube
Although the home crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena has helped the Warriors go undefeated in three games at home as part of the league's longest active winning streak (four games), the Skyforce might present the biggest home challenge yet.
While Santa Cruz will have the aid of their two NBA regulars, Sioux Falls - the affiliate for four NBA teams - will have the aid of two assignees of their own: Arnett Moultrie (Philadelphia 76ers) and Dexter Pittman (Miami Heat).
Moultrie is a name you might remember as he was a 2012 NBA draft prospect who Philadelphia drafted a few spots before Golden State selected Festus Ezeli. You can check out DraftExpress for his draft prospect profile and Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers discussed his limited playing time with the Sixers a few weeks prior to him being assigned to Sioux Falls.
Pittman was drafted in 2010 by the Heat and has seen played 7.9 minutes per game in his brief career. Having been reduced to just three minutes per game this season due to the Heat playing more small ball this season, the assignment is an opportunity to continue his development and the folks at Ridiculous Upside have written a couple of times now that this might be his last opportunity as he has failed to make progress in the NBA.
Combining the pair of assignees with starting center Hassan Whiteside, Sioux Falls is a big team that will be able to at least match the size of Santa Cruz. And the Skyforce should test the Warriors' perimeter defense as well: guard Andrew Goudelock - waived by the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the season - and forward Demetris Nichols are two of the top scorers in the league, ranking fourth and 15th in the league, respectively.
You can consider this your game thread for the day and watch the game by either watching the embedded video above or visiting YouTube.