Preview/Game Thread: Warriors vs. Bucks

Remember this guy? - Christian Petersen
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Golden State Warriors (35-28) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (30-29)

Where: Oracle Arena in Oakland

When: 7:30 PST

TV: CSN Bay Area

Radio: KNBR

Blog buddy: Brew Hoop

So this should be fun. I believe tonight is the first game since "the trade" last season that Monta Ellis and Andrew Bogut will be playing against each other in person on the court at the same time. Surprisingly, the Warriors may actually need this game more than the Bucks who are somewhat comfortably in the 8th spot in the East, about 6 games ahead of the Raptors last I checked. Conversely, the Warriors have been treading through really rough waters lately, with the latest defeat coming at the hands of the Rockets who are right on their tail and the Lakers and Jazz not too far behind either.

There are a lot of intriguing matchups tonight. In fact, pretty much every positional matchup should be fun to watch. It's going to be a little bittersweet to see Ekpe Udoh go up against Festus Ezeli. I'm going to pull for Festus tonight, but Ekpe is still one of my favorite players in the league. Udoh has been surplanted in the Bucks' rotation by Larry Sanders who gained quite a bit of fame last weekend at the Sloan Conference, when Kirk Goldsberry basically made the case that Sanders is the best defender in the NBA, and that David Lee is so bad, he deserves the nickname "The Golden Gate" (because he lets everyone through, lol). I'm not sure it's that bad or that the metric was all that good (did anyone see that Bargnani was rated second behind Sanders?), but I'm super excited to see Sanders in action live.

As I'm writing this I don't know if Lee is going to be able to suit up given the painful knee contusion he suffered last night. I hope he can go, because without him, we basically have no inside scoring. Carl Landry has been great (66% TS) when he's on the floor together with Lee, but he's not nearly as good (54% TS) without Lee on the floor to take defensive pressure away from him (stats via nbawowy.com).

Keys to the game:

  • Make Monta a volume shooter
  • Make Brandon Jennings a volume shooter
  • Make our shots

Predictions:

  • Andrew Bogut will make a spectacular block on Larry Sanders
  • Larry Sanders will record an epic rejection on Andrew Bogut.
  • Ekpe Udoh will have a massive block on John Henson. Oh, wait. That doesn't make sense.
  • Harrison Barnes will have a mammoth dunk on Ersan Ilyasova (why not?).
  • There will be many blocked shots tonight.
  • Warriors will eke out another ugly win, 93-89.
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