5 p.m. PST
New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, LA
TV: CSN BA | Radio: KNBR
Blog Buddy: At The Hive
Part of the reason for so much optimism about the Golden State Warriors making the playoffs despite things going awry in February was that the schedule was much kinder down the home stretch of the regular season.
We are now entering that kinder, gentler part of the schedule, beginning with the Warriors' visit to the Hornets tonight.
After tonight's game - and a trip to San Antonio on Wednesday - the Warriors will have a stretch of six very winnable games. Maybe, having been humbled by recent results, we shouldn't consider those games locks for a win. But if this is a team that wants to prove itself worthy of the playoffs, it needs to win 4 or 5 of those before what could be a significant game against the Utah Jazz.
But that's not to look past tonight's game: the Warriors have won two previous games with the Hornets by a combined 11 points. It's not an easy win and part of that is that the Hornets have been a relatively strong offensive team.
New Orleans Hornets Four Factors statistics via Basketball-Reference (as of 3/18/13).
And if the Warriors turn in another lackadaisical defensive effort, this could be a loss they can't really afford.
On the second night of a back-to-back against a team that has shown they can compete with the Warriors, tonight's game is not a given. But gaining some momentum to finish out March would give the team a big confidence boost and that starts with beating a sub-.500 squad on the road and showing some resilience when there's been so much reason to doubt just how good this team is this year.