clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Warriors vs Wizards Preview: It's a trap! With so much going on later this week, can Golden State stay focused in Washington?

New, comments

The Warriors will visit the White House on Thursday, followed by a much anticipated showdown with the Thunder on Saturday. With so much to look forward to later in the week, can the Dubs stay motivated for their matchup today against an underachieving Wizards team?

Stephen Curry aims to put on a show for his buddy, President Obama, as the Warriors visit the nation's capital.
Stephen Curry aims to put on a show for his buddy, President Obama, as the Warriors visit the nation's capital.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup
Golden State Warriors
44-4 (22-4 ROAD)
vs
Washington Wizards
21-25 (10-16 HOME)
Details
February 3, 2016
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
5:00pm PDT
CSN Bay Area, ESPN | KNBR 680 AM
Blog Buddy: Bullets Forever
Projected Starters
Stephen Curry G John Wall
Klay Thompson G Garrett Temple
Harrison Barnes F Otto Porter
Draymond Green F Jared Dudley
Andrew Bogut C Marcin Gortat
Key Injuries
Festus Ezeli- Knee (out)
James Michael McAdoo - Toe (out)
Alan Anderson - Ankle (out)
Kris Humphries- Knee (out)

★★★

Trap Game

It's a big week for Dub Nation! Coming off of a victorious trip to the Big Apple, the Warriors now head to our nation's capital. On Thursday they'll be recognized for their championship season at the White House and then head back to the Bay to prepare for a Saturday matchup against that Oklahoma City team that everyone is talking about nobody talking about. Add to the mix some football game on Sunday and it's hard to remember that the Dubs have to be somewhere tonight. Oh, right! They're taking on an underachieving Washington Wizards squad that's struggling to stay in playoff contention. I'm sure Golden State is focused and fired up for this one...

It's a trap!.. game. It's human nature to overlook what's happening today in anticipation of what's coming in the future and it's starting to look like the Warriors aren't immune to this tendency. In the past month we've seen that the Warriors bring their A-game when facing the Spurs and Cavaliers, yet nearly drop a game to the 76ers after losing their focus in the second half. Draymond Green fessed up to being "selfishly unselfish" in the game in Philadelphia, messing around trying to get a triple-double. The scare of nearly losing that one could be a valuable lesson in the long run. Has the lesson been learned?

Tonight we'll see if someone other than Klay Thompson (who's been absolutely ridiculous lately) can come out swinging. They'll have a nice advantage in that there will be a ton of Warriors fans at the Verizon Center. (That's just how DC sports go - lots of people born in other states.) In the best case scenario, the President will make it courtside to provide some inspiration. Steph can't disappoint his BFF!

The Warriors have every reason to roll against an injury plagued team that's weak on defense and dead last in the league in rebounding. Let's hope that they aren't looking past this one.

The State of the Wizards

The state of the Washington Wizards is not strong, as Nate Parham discussed with Albert Lee of Bullets Forever. The Wiz are struggling with the injury bug, recording the most missed games due to injury across the league this year. The fragile but talented Bradley Beal (remember when he and John Wall thought they were in the running for the league's best backcourt?) is playing limited minutes while recovering from getting stuffed by Kenneth Faried sustaining a broken nose and concussion last week. They'll also be without head coach Randy Wittman, who is on leave to grieve the passing of his brother. It's tough going for the Wiz these days.

On the bright side, they have the third best three point shooter by percentage in the league. Bradley Beal? No. John Wall? No. Um... Otto Porter??? No! It's Jared Dudley. He's not a high volume shooter, but if you leave him open he can hit from behind the arc. However, the way the Warriors switch on defense, I wouldn't expect Dudley to have a big night. The other piece of good news for the Wiz is that Beal may return to the starting lineup soon, perhaps as early as tonight. We'll give Garrett Temple the nod as a projected starter for now, but expect Beal to rack up some solid minutes.