Golden State Warriors (13-18) vs. Atlanta Hawks (20-14)
4:30pm Tip-off PST
TV: CSN Bay Area HD / Radio: KNBR 1050
After an All Star Weekend that served to remind Dubs fans of their place in the NBA universe, we were welcomed back to the wild world of Warriors basketball with a less than inspiring 102-78 beat down at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. So, what now? No time to rest and let the sting of that loss set in, because the Warriors are off to Atlanta to face another not-quite-powerhouse Eastern Conference team. So let's take a quick break from fantasizing about a long-term romance between Dwight Howard and Joe Lacob to take a brief look at tonight's match up.
Thanks to some gremlins sneaking into my house and reprogramming my DVR I was unable to enjoy last night's game, but after reviewing the boxscore I'll consider myself lucky as it seems that no Warriors fans were able to enjoy last night's game. I can't recall ever seeing a game where the winning team's starting line-up were all +29 or better (including +38 for West and Collison). Ouch. Let's waste no time getting to tonight's game.
Steph Curry to Play?
Curry sat out last night as he continues to deal with his recent foot injury, and while there is still no official word on whether Steph will play tonight Marcus Thompson said in his piece this morning that Curry will be returning as soon as possible.
Curry is going to try to play tonight at Atlanta. And if he can’t go tonight, he’ll try to go at Philadelphia on Friday. He was told the injury would heal in a week, and that’s the timetable he’s going by.
Definitely check out the rest of the article because there was plenty of good insight into how Curry is dealing with his injuries and his attitude about being labeled "injury prone."
Three Point Shooting
It's been clear this season that this team as currently constructed will live and die by the three. Without a reliable inside presence (yes, Lee has had quite a bit of success in the post, but only when he has a favorable match-up) and an inability to get to the free throw line regularly, the Warriors have had to lean heavily on their outside shooters to carry them all year. When their shots from behind the arc are falling it can make up for a lot of deficiencies elsewhere, but when they aren't and you end up 3-22 like last night, well, it's ugly. You can count on a better performance from long distance, but how much better will probably be the difference between walking away with a win or a loss.
Securing the Rebound
Tonight we will see somewhat of a classic offensive team vs defensive team, with the Warriors in the upper third of the league on offense and lower third on defense, and the Hawks in the upper third on defense and lower third on offense. If the Warriors can play some scrappy D on the road they could steal this game, but only if they secure the rebound and end Hawks possessions. We all know that the Warriors are one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the league, but luckily the Hawks haven't been very good on the offensive glass this season. Losing Horford to injury has left a sizable hole in the Hawks frontcourt, but the Dubs will need the whole team to come through on the boards if they want to win tonight.