On Friday, the Warriors will go for their eighth victory in a row, against the Hornets. During this current seven-game win streak, Golden State already crushed the Hornets — in Oakland in a 112-87 laugher, where the Dubs held a 30-point fourth quarter lead.
Stephen Curry is playing like an MVP this season, especially these last couple of games in Miami and Orlando.
The last two games: 68 points on 21-of-32 FG and 14-of-19 3FG, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds in 61 minutes.
When Steph gets on one of "those" heat checks, there's very little that can be done to stop him. Pull-up, off-the-dribble, step-back: Nothing but net. He entered this road trip under 40% on threes; now, he's shooting 45% from the three-point line. Before these past two games, the Warriors were dominating most teams without Curry really blowing up from distance. Now, they're blowing out teams with Curry setting the nets on fire from three. A scary thought for the rest of the NBA, and especially for the Hornets.
The good thing for the rest of the Warriors offense when he starts shooting well is that Steph is so unselfish. On Wednesday, he had eight assists, finding guys like Draymond here for a wide-open three.
With so much attention on Steph, that opens up lots of things for the rest of the Dubs. Klay Thompson has had a fantastic beginning to the season not just because of his internal improvement but because of the threat of Stephen Curry beside him. Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, and Andre Iguodala have gotten lots of wide-open threes because of Curry. And Andrew Bogut has been reinvigorated on the offensive end.
Coach Kerr is also using Bogut as a high post outlet, something he wasn't used as last season with Mark Jackson at the helm. His brute screens, dribble-handoffs on the wing with Curry and Thompson, and passes from the high post have been a boon for the Warriors offense.
Golden State has shown a lot of improvement on offense as a whole thanks to Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry, with lots of movement and action away from the ball. The Warriors are utilizing much more backdoor cuts on the offensive end, and as such they've gotten lots of layup opportunities and dunks. Currently, the Warriors sit just outside the top ten in field goal percentage within five feet of the basket, and they lead the league in field goal percentage within five feet (per nba.com/stats). Against Al Jefferson, not known for his defense, they will likely be able to attack the rim time and time again tonight. Look for Steph, Klay, and Harrison to drive the paint for easy buckets in this game.
On defense, Golden State has been decimating teams to death. The Warriors continue to boast the league's best defensive rating with Bogut anchoring the middle and defensive versatility around the perimeter. Against a Charlotte team that can struggle to score as-is — a bottom-five offensive rating (101.2) — the defense figures to continue leading the way tonight.