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Game Preview: Warriors look to extend win streak to three against Wizards

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Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal are the second best backcourt in the league, but will need support if they want to beat Golden State in Oakland.

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

How to watch

Who: Warriors (3-2) vs. Wizards (3-1)

When: Friday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Oracle Arena

How to Watch: NBCSBA, NBA TV

Radio: 95.7 The Game,

PROJECTED STARTERS

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

WIZ: PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Otto Porter Jr., SF Kelly Oubre Jr. , C Marcin Gortat

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Shaun Livingston (Out, Bereavement)

Wizards: Markieff Morris (Out, Hernia), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)

The Wizards

John Wall’s got the magic

On Wednesday night, the Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime on ESPN. Fans, including myself, were pumped to see Wall wipe the floor with the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball after LaVar Ball’s comments. Unfortunately, Wall never found a rhythm as he shot a lousy 7-22 from the field and Washington lost.

John Wall is this season’s trendy MVP pick, and it’s easy to see why. He will average somewhere around 20 points and 10 assists a game, and also plays stellar defense against the league’s top point guards. Wall is a star, but folks might be jumping the gun on MVP. He’s talented enough to win, but there just isn’t enough depth on Washington for Wall to reach his full potential as an MVP. He also can’t ignore his team like Russell Westbrook did last year and just turn into a wolverine. His team is too good for him to Westbrook (yes, it’s a verb). He is always a threat and — if the rest of his team is rolling — can beat the Warriors.

Washington’s Depth

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the second best backcourt in the NBA and have always matched up well on paper against Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Since the 2014-2015 season though, the Wizards are 1-5 against the Dubs. Despite their talent, Washington struggles against the Warriors because they lack depth.

The Wizards possess a solid starting five, but after that it’s not pretty. If Markieff Morris were healthy, Kelly Oubre Jr. would be the first player off the bench. After Oubre Jr., they have Mike Scott, Tim Frazier, and Jodie Meeks.

Oubre Jr. is developing into a solid player, but after him, it’s tough to envision any aforementioned Wizards bench player seeing playing time on an elite Western Conference team. Washington epitomizes the Eastern-Western conference talent gap. Only half of their team is ready for prime time and that might be good enough for a two seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Maybe a six seed in the West.

The Warriors

The Warriors are on their first win streak of the season after dispatching the Raptors and the Mavericks earlier in the week.

The Big 4 Defense

Curry, Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green shouldered a heavy load against Toronto on Wednesday night. When the Raptors stormed back, this group successfully stopped Toronto from scoring on two straight possessions in the final minute. They’ll need to channel that defense in the fourth quarter again if Washington keeps it close. The Wizards will showcase a formidable five on the court in crunch time. Wall and Beal will produce, but Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre Jr.’s scoring must be mitigated early on by Golden State’s wings. If Durant defends Porter, watch out for another block party.

Stop Marcin Gortat

Marcin Gortat is not on the same level as Marc Gasol, who singlehandedly beat the Warriors last weekend. However, the Washington game is another opportunity for Steve Kerr and Ron Adams to find a rotation capable of subduing a taller center. Gortat is averaging over 11 rebounds per game. Preventing extra scoring chances for the Wizards is imperative to a Golden State victory.

Shaun Livingston is out, play Patrick McCaw

Livingston will be out of Friday’s game because he will be attending the funeral of Bruce Harris, the brother of Mavericks’ guard Devin Harris. Harris died last Thursday in a car accident.

Livingston’s absence should open some minutes for Patrick McCaw who is averaging 8.5 minutes a game thus far. Hopefully McCaw can add time and points under his belt as his opportunities have been limited thus far.

After displaying some sluggish tendencies out of the gate, a comfortable win over Washington would boost the Warriors’ swagger going into their third week.