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Warriors vs. Kings preview: Golden State hoping to finish preseason strong

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After their blowout win in Shanghai, the Warriors are back home in Oakland looking for a victory over the quirky Sacramento Kings.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

How to watch

Date: Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

Time: 7.00 P.M. PST

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

TV: NBCS Bay Area

Radio: 95.7 The Game

Team records:

Warriors: 1-2

Kings: 1-3

Last meeting: Warriors 114- Kings 100 (March 14, 2017)

Projected Starters:

Warriors: PG Stephen Curry, SG Klay Thompson, SF Kevin Durant, PF Draymond Green, C Zaza Pachulia

Kings: PG De’Aaron Fox, SG Buddy Hield, SF Bogdan Bogdanovic, PF Zach Randolph. C Willie Cauley-Stein

Injury report:

Warriors

Nick Young (might play, Achilles)

Kings:

De’Aaron Fox (should play, back)

Harry Giles (out, knee)

Key Matchup: Steph Curry vs. De’Aaron Fox, JaVale McGee vs. Willie Cauley-Stein

Assuming Fox plays, this is an intriguing matchup—not because Fox and Curry are equals though. When Curry was drafted out of college, scouts were unsure of Curry’s height, speed and his ability to adapt to the NBA game. Safe to say, Curry adapted. Talent assessors have expressed worries about Fox for the opposite reasons. They love his speed, physique, and defense, but worry about his long range shooting in a jumper-obsessed league. He shot 25% from three-point range at Kentucky. Fox has always played solid defense so watching his first go against one of the best in Curry will be a treat.

McGee and Cauley-Stein is also a worthy matchup. Both seven-footers with prodigious wingspans, these two are especially instrumental if the shots don’t fall for the Warriors. If McGee and his comrades fight for rebounds, the Warriors will win. It won’t be easy though. Cauley-Stein, Randolph, and Labissiere are a dangerous defensive front court and have the strength to win inside.

If the Warriors shoot like the Warriors, none of this will matter.

The Bench Trifecta

The preseason is a different than the regular season. Thus far, we’ve seen bits and pieces of Warriors basketball we know and adore—the fantastic four looks primed to dominate for another year. But in their final game before it all counts, it’s time for the Dubs to put all the pieces together.

In the second China game, the starters clicked in the second quarter and never looked back. That said, we are waiting for the rest of the team to step up. Nick Young is battling an injury, Omri Casspi is still adapting to the Warriors’ pace, and Patrick McCaw’s offense has been slow out of the gate. Those three players are the collective bench X-Factor if the Warriors are breaking win records this year. We need to be patient because it might take some time for the them to click. Monitor the bench trifecta’s progress in this one.

Sacramento: The Elders and the Babies

The Kings have a fascinating roster— a combination of grizzled veterans and dudes who can’t legally rent a car. George Hill (31), Vince Carter (40), and Zach Randolph (36) have a cumulative age of 107! Buddy Hield (23), Justin Jackson (22), Skal Labissiere (21), De’Aaron Fox (19), and Harry Giles (19) are 104. My math exercise is excluding four other players under 25. Sacramento’s mix of old and young could prove genius—provide mentors for young players and integrate them into the league. Keep a watchful eye on Sacramento’s rebuild, especially on Fox. If some of the young guns pan out, the Kings could be force in the west by 2020.

Jordan Bell is GOOD

If you missed Bell’s showcase last Sunday, check out Apricot’s story here. Hopefully he will be featured in the rotation with some of the starters against the Kings. I’m keen on watching how he handles the Kings’ big men outside of garbage time. Progress, especially on offense, won’t be constant with Bell—but the arch of basketball domination bends towards Oakland. Bell has shown he can hang, so watch out.

Hype

This is your last chance this year to watch a Dubs game and not care too much about the result. Enjoy it.