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Warriors vs. Mavs preview: Make Oracle Barnes again!

Harrison Barnes and his max contract return to Oracle for a recount

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

  • When: Wednesday, November 9th at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time
  • Where: Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA
  • Coverage: Television - CSN Bay Area | Radio - 95.7 The Game
  • Blog Buddy: Mavs Money Ball

The 5-2 Golden State Warriors finish their short two-game home stand on Wednesday when they host the 2-5 Dallas Mavericks in a meeting that will be as emotionally charged as talking about the Presidential election results with your in-laws at Thanksgiving (if you’re like me, you wrote in Nate Parham for President).

Neither team will need any reminders to focus on the game at hand though, as this will be the first time back for our beloved ex-players: Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, and Seth Curry and you can bet there will be no shortage of players looking to send a message.

The Warriors have been decent so far. They may or may not be feeling the pressure to win every game right now, but it hearkens back to the good old days where fans watching are really on pins and needles wondering about the outcome of any given game; quite the contrast to last season’s juggernaut that stormed into the season by reeling off 24 straight wins. It feels as if the team has sputtered to this 5-2 start. Sure, we beat the New Orleans Pelicans, but it took a record-breaking performance from Steph Curry

And the Pelicans got dangerously close towards the end of the game before being put away by the Warriors for the 116-106 win. Maybe I’m already spoiled, but the Warriors have looked disinterested and vulnerable in both losses and I’m getting antsy to see some better defense out of this team. They should handle the Mavs, who are likely to be without Dirk for the second straight game. They’ll have to be cautious of Bogut, as his rim protection and rebounding prowess could spell trouble for the Warriors front court, but I’m guessing their goal will just be to run him off the court.

After a slow start, the Mavs got their first win of the season on Sunday in overtime against the Milwaukee Bucks but could be gassed coming in on the back end of a back-to-back after facing the Lakers in LA last night. The Mavs handled the Lakers team that just beat the Warriors, with 109-97 win led by a career high from Seth Curry (23 points on 15 shots) and Barnes’ 31 points. Beyond this game, it doesn’t look to get any easier for the Mavs, or Barnes, as they still have to face the Cavs, Clippers and Spurs (twice), in the month of November. In addition to being without Dirk Nowtizki, Deron Williams is probably out for the Mavs too, but I’m not sure if that hurts or helps at this point in his career. Meanwhile, Harrison Barnes has been having a legitimately good decent start to the season, averaging 19.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per 36 minutes at a somewhat respectable .586 TS% (on just over 24% usage). Is it “max money” good? Barnes will be out to prove that it is.

Next up: This will be the front-end of a back to back for the Warriors, who will fly to Denver after the game. Patrick McCaw will probably play, but this could be the first chance this season for Kerr to voluntarily rest a veteran player, be it against the Mavs or Nuggets. It will be interesting to see if Kerr chooses the additional court time for the core players, or chooses to play it safe, even this early in the season.