WHEN: Wednesday October 24, 2018
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
Blog Buddy: Bullets Forever
Showdown with an Eastern powerhouse (or pretender)?
The Washington Wizards walk that fine line between “good” and “elite” but seem to inexorably slide back away to mediocrity once the post season hits. Anchored by a talented backcourt featuring John Wall and Bradley Beal, they have the top end talent and the roster depth to challenge any team. Or so it would seem. They’ve got some wing depth with Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr., and a stable roster that only changed around the periphery (swapping Marcin Gortat for Dwight Howard and Austin Rivers) this past offseason.
Howard will not be available, and it appears to be due to [squints at screen], a case of butt hurt?
We know what the Warriors are
Remember when Draymond Green sat in with the Warriors’ drafting efforts and his only advice to the team was to look for players who thrived in big games? ”There are 82-game players, then there are 16-game players” he said. Well, I think the Warriors have moved on to be a 16-game team. That’s not to say that these regular season games are meaningless or anything, but there’s just not a lot of concern coming from anywhere — in spite of a few early season hiccups.
Struggles? Don’t worry about it.
Through a combination of roster construction and early shooting troubles, the Warriors vaunted offense has looked a bit pedestrian in the opening stanza of this young season. According to Basketball Reference, their offense is all the way down to 12th, and their effective field goal percentage (a measure of scoring efficiency) has fallen all the way down to 7th. They are shooting only 34% from deep, bad enough to earn them the 22nd ranking in the league.
Broadly speaking, this team doesn’t have anything to worry about. After making history over the past four years or so, the Warriors have earned plenty of slack in regards to their play. Klay Thompson has been on a cold shooting streak, but anyone who’s watched him play knows that his shot will come back. Thompson is 3-22 from deep on the season, Kevin Durant is 3-13, but rather than be worried, I find myself waiting for some regression to the mean from them both. A hot shooting night from one (or both) is coming.
Also, keep an eye on the big man rotation. After spending a lot of time on the bench, the Wizards may present the best matchup yet for Jordan Bell.
Curry is most definitely NOT struggling
When Curry first exploded into the realm of the absurd, on the path to his first MVP award, it took a while for it to all sink in. Early in the season there was a lot of talk about sample size and jumping to conclusions. But then after a month or so of insane basketball, the world at large began to wonder aloud if maybe he could actually keep it up. Spoiler: he can, and did.
For the first time in his NBA career, Curry opened the season with three consecutive games scoring at least 30 points (he scored 29 against the Suns on Monday). He’s also taking and making threes at an astounding rate: he’s 22 for 47 (46.8 percent) so far, a pace that would easily eclipse the season record for made three that he set a few years ago.
He’s playing with an almost bellicose offense — attacking teams from all over the court and also managing to lead the team in assists for the first time in three years.
Curry doesn’t figure to slow down anytime soon, and the Wizards are one of his favorite targets historically. He has scored an average of 26.1 points per game — the 4th most vs any team.
The Warriors at home are just too much for the Wizards: Golden State 121, Wizards 108.