Warriors (W-L): 19-14
Hornets (W-L): 21-11
TV: FSN Bay Area HD
Radio: KNBR 680
A preview of today's Friday night festivity at the Roaracle after the jump!
Update: Warriors lose a "close one" 116-104.
Stay tuned for the recap...
On paper I don't like this matchup for the Warriors one bit. The Charlotte- I mean Oklahoma City- ooops, I mean NEW ORLEANS Hornets have been playing very good ball this year and are neck and neck with the Dallas Mavericks record-wise, which is no simple feat this far into the season. They boast an extremely impressive road record as well at 12-5. As a matter of fact the Hornets are looking for their 4th straight road win tonight in Oakland.
The Hornets are a very exciting up and coming team and when you break it down I'd take their starting 5 (when healthy) over the Warriors. Let's take a look at their cast:
Chris Paul: Every hoops fan knows about CP3. He's the closest thing this league has to a modern day Isiah Thomas (the Pistons' PG, not the Knicks GM). Don't be surprised if Paul makes this year's Western Conference All-Star squad over our man Boom Dizzle either (see All-Star Showdown: Baron Davis or Chris Paul? over at SFGate).
The key to shutting him down is going to be getting him into foul trouble. If the Warriors ever get the chance to post up BD on him, they've got to do it every time. Last season when the Warriors beat the Hornets by 21 points in Oakland for Nellie's 1200th win they nearly got Paul to foul out and they held him to 11 points and 5 assists with 4 turnovers.
Morris Peterson: Mo Pete's a very solid vet. Nothing spectacular, but he's fully capable of dropping a 20 point night if the other guys are struggling. I doubt Nellie will put Monta on Mo Pete because of the height and weight difference and instead match up BD on him. Let's hope Monta can play some semblance of defense on CP3.
Peja Stojakovic: In his prime back in the glory days with the Kings I thought Peja looked every bit as good as Dirk Nowitzki. That was probably a stretch, but there's no denying that Peja could shoot the lights out and grab some boards. He's down to 14.2 ppg and 3.4 rpg this season, but this man can still shoot the lights out. Peja's hitting 42.2% of his treys and 94.9% of his free throws this season. If Jack is matched up with him I don't see him hitting that rate from downtown, but he's a real threat to be conscious of at ALL times.
Two things are certain though: DO NOT LEAVE THIS MAN OPEN FROM DOWNTOWN! DO NOT FOUL HIM!
David West: I think it's safe to call West the most underrated 4 in the league. He's just a shade under 20-10 and 1.5 blocks, but gets next to no recognition or hype nationally. Look at some of the outings he's had this season and you'll be really scared about what he can do to the Warriors tonight. I admittedly don't know as much about his game as I'd like, so I'll be watching him very closely tonight. From the numbers alone he looks to be a very, very good power forward.
Tyson Chandler: I've always thought that the Bulls had the right idea when they drafted and paired up Chandler and Eddy Curry. If the Bulls could've somehow merged those two fellows into one basketball player you'd have an elite big man, but sadly that's not biologically possible and it's ethically reprehensible. Chandler does his damage on the glass and on D. He's a workman and hopefully he doesn't work the Warriors inside too much tonight. Chandler's bigger and stronger than Andris Biedrins, so expect the Warriors interior softness to be further exposed tonight. The key will be to go at him with penetration from BD, Monta, and Jack to see if he'll pick up some ticky tack fouls. The more he sits, the better the Warriors' chances are for getting this W.
It's time to go Super Hero on these buzzing pests tonight at the Roaracle! It's going to take some magical powers to pull this one off and render the advantages the Hornets have on paper meaningless. The good news is that since Jack's been back the Warriors have yet to lose two games in a row. Let's see if the fellas can keep that streak alive. I have this feeling Nellie's got something crazy up his sleeve for this one.
- Q&A: Ryan Schwan from Hornets247.com
- Time to Slay the Warriors w/ Fantasy Junkie's thoughts [Hornets247.com]
- Warriors by 1
- Baron Davis gets a triple double and makes a good case why he's the real deal All-Star PG.
- Chris Paul gets 20-10.
- Nellie plays a little Marco Polo at the point and the experiment doesn't pan out.
- Chandler and his Wessyde homie put up a combined 50 points and 25 boards.
Drop your predictions and live game thoughts in the comments. Let's get this open thread poppin'!