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Preview: Warriors @ Brooklyn; Wrapping up the Road Trip

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The Warriors head to Brooklyn Monday night to finish up a tough stretch of games on the East Coast. Do they have anything left in the tank?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors (46-11) @ Brooklyn Nets (24-33)

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

4:30 p.m. PST

Radio: KNBR 680 AM | TV: CSN Bay Area

Buddy Blog: Nets Daily

The Warriors finally wrap up their East Coast adventure with a stop into Brooklyn, New York tonight to face the pesky Nets. Golden State has looked tired, streaky and tested over their six-game swing away from home. To many's surprise and relief they proven themselves with a respectable 4-2 record. This included a huge come from behind victory in Boston on Sunday that was more guts than flash. What has been impressive so far about the trip are the quality wins over respectable teams. Sure, the Wizards are on a bad skid since the break and Toronto is playing subpar basketball, however these were two games where plenty of fans would have understood dropping a game on the road to an Eastern elite team. Instead they gutted games out, came back from large leads, and took care of business where we knew they could.

Heading to Brooklyn tonight, the Nets represent another capable team who pose matchup problems for the Warriors. Lionel Hollins inherited a tough roster of overpaid stars and mismatched pieces from Jason Kidd, and has struggled to make them gel. Blame injuries or age or unfair expectations, this Nets team is a short-term question and a long-term mess. Their problem is you never know what you are going to get night-by-night. They have the capability with Deron Williams & Joe Johnson to beat anyone - take for example knocking off the Mavericks in Dallas on Saturday night. They have turned Kevin Garnett into Thaddeus Young at the trade deadline, and suddenly their crunch-time lineup looks quite scary. Their struggle has been health. Williams shows only flashes of what he has been skill-wise in his career. Brook Lopez can't stay on the court to carry the interior. When you look at the stats, you question how a team with this much talent could be 24-33 in the East, but the numbers don't lie. They have had too many different starting lineups, too much bad offense (23rd in the league) and too slow of a pace to threaten teams (25th in the league).

This should play well for the Warriors. The consistency for Golden State on the road trip has been their defense, continuing to cause turnovers and low shooting percentages. As long as they can contain Deron Williams from the drive and kick, they should turn the Nets into an isolation playing jump shooting team. Let's take a quick look at the previous matchup this season

Match Up

Result

Warriors vs. Brooklyn - Nets give Warriors Scare at Home

Warriors 107 - Nets 99
The Nets came to Oracle early in the season looking to challenge the Warriors by slowing them down and grinding out a win. Jarrett Jack hurt his former team with 23 off the bench, and four other Nets scored in double-figures. The key for the Warriors was a balanced attack (all five starters scored in double-digits) with Klay Thompson leading the way (25 pts.  8-22 shooting).

The key tonight will be how does each of these teams view this game. For the Warriors, it's a possible let down game as they can already see the light at the end of the tunnel on this trip. As this is the fourth game in five nights, there are rumors about a night of rest for Andrew Bogut. Can Festus Ezeli carry the load inside against the tough Mason Plumlee and Lopez? Can the Warriors reserves hold up against energy role players like Jarrett Jack and Thaddeus Young?

For the Nets, they still hold onto hope of eking out a playoff spot in the East. With their bad record, they still only sit a game behind Indiana for the eight spot. Could they knock out a top seed if they ended up sneaking into the playoffs? It's make-or-break time for Brooklyn. With a statement win in Dallas, they could be getting their head straight for a final push. They would view this game as a challenge to see how they stand against the league elite. Don't expect them to lie down just because the Warriors hold the top record in the league.

Predictions

  • Andrew Bogut could sit this one out, and if he does, it will be a struggle all night for the Warriors to keep the Nets off the glass. Look for Plumlee and Young to have big nights for the Nets. Look for Mo Speights to have heavy playing time tonight as well.
  • Steph Curry and Klay Thompson played heavy minutes to grind back out the win in Boston. On the back-to-back, the bench will have to be even more of a key. Shawn Livingston and David Lee will have to show more than they have recently. Tonight's match up will be about who wins the second unit battle.
  • The Warriors will struggle to shoot tonight, showing road fatigue. I picture a low scoring affair, with the Nets keeping it close all night. Golden State sqeaks out the 92-89 victory, but it's not one for the highlight reel.