Golden State Warriors (43-7) vs. Sacramento Kings (19-30)
How to watch
Date: Thursday February 4, 2017
Time: 7:30pm PST
Location: Golden 1 Center — Sacramento, CA
Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
The Golden State Warriors will travel up north to take on the Sacramento Kings in the closest away game of the season. This marks the second matchup between these two teams, and the last in Sacramento of the regular season. The Kings have not beaten the Warriors in their last nine games, most recently losing January 8th in Sacramento behind an impressive defensive performance from Zaza Pachulia on DeMarcus Cousins.
This time around, the Warriors frontline is without their two most stalwart defenders in Pachulia and David West. Shaun Livingston and Draymond Green, who did not play in the Warriors’ last game are game-time decisions.
It is unclear if recent acquisition Briante Weber will play, but Warriors fans eagerly await his debut in blue and gold. On the Kings’ side, Rudy Gay, Arron Afflalo, Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple are reported to be out. These absences represent a major deficit in scoring ability, playmaking and defense. Temple has been the Kings’ go-to defender on Klay Thompson. Compounding these depth issues are the fact that the Kings are coming off a back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns.
The Kings have lost their last two games coming into last night’s game against the Suns. That game started a month-long pseudo-homestand for the Kings, as they will not travel outside California until March 6th. The Warriors are on a five game win streak and will look to extend that against a depleted Kings squad coming off a back-to-back.
The Warriors’ biggest challenge will be trying to contain Cousins without West or Pachulia. Javale McGee is a potent lob threat, fantastic inside finisher and has shown improvements in his ability to protect the rim. But he is still no match for Cousins in a straight matchup.
James Michael McAdoo has played his best basketball as a Warrior in the last week, and while he is a versatile defender capable of switching out onto guards, he still lacks the size and toughness to deal with an interior threat like Cousins. Expect the Warriors to throw a steady stream of double-teams against the all-star center, specifically when he spins over his inside shoulder, one of his preferred moves.