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Preview: The Warriors look to bounce back against the Kings

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The Warriors get the chance to redeem their dreadful performance against the Jazz as well as their early-season loss to the Kings.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors
Time to get back to defense
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Game Information

Who: Golden State Warriors (40-10) vs. Sacramento Kings (16-34)

When: 7:30 PM PST - Friday, February 2

Where: Golden 1 Center

TV: ESPN, CSBA

Radio: 95.7 THE GAME

The other corner’s blog: Sactown Royalty

Injury Report

Warriors

Shaun Livingston (out)

Jordan Bell (out)

Kevon Looney (probable)

Kings

Willie Cauley-Stein (probable)

Frank Mason III (out)

Skal Labissiere (out)

Malachi Richardson (doubtful)

Harry Giles (out)


Bounce back time

So the last game for the Warriors ended in a 30-point drubbing by the Utah Jazz.

However little you may believe in universal karma, I’d like to believe — even if it just means I could possibly have a hand in this organization’s cosmic fate — that my overconfident preview may have played a part in that ugly display.

This time around, I’ll keep things a little more even-keeled.

As for the Warriors, I’m sure they’re looking for a bounce back performance as well.

When it comes to back-to-back losses, they have come far and few in between for this team over the past several years.

I’m confident the Warriors will at least come out and play with more energy and urgency than they had against the Jazz.

Especially since the Kings beat them in a close match the last time they met, 110-106.

Where did the defense go?

When Stephen Curry went down with injury, the Warriors played some of the best defense they have had all season. For the month of December, the team posted the second best defensive rating in the league, only allowing 101.9 points per 100 possessions.

This took a drastic drop in the first month of the new year as the Warriors fell to a Cleveland Cavaliers standard of 109.6 points per 100 possessions — for reference, we were 26th in the league and the Cavs were 27th for the month.

We did have the hardest road trip of our season during that month and these are the so-called dog days. But it’ll be great to see them get back on track on that end of the court.

It’s what sparks our offense and that should hopefully allow for some easier scoring opportunities and possible fourth quarter rests. There hasn’t seemed to be many of those for this team this year.

King things

The Kings are in the midst of another throwaway season where they are looking to see what pieces they can build off for the future.

They have a young team with some interesting players such as Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, De’Aaron Fox, and Buddy Hield.

Fox was the big name in this year’s draft; however, it was the rookie Frank Mason III who put on an impressive performance with 14 points off the bench to help the Kings defeat the Warriors a few months back.

Cauley-Stein was also huge off the bench for them with 19 points.

These young guys had a ton of energy to burn and out-hustled us a lot in that last game. But we also didn’t have our ultimate equalizers in Curry and Kevin Durant.

However, although these Kings are ranked dead last in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the last game proved that the Warriors have to be at least semi-serious if they want to walk away with a win.

And with Houston lurking not so far off behind us in the standings, it would be beneficial for the Warriors to take as many of these easier matchups with an earnest effort.


Predictions

Final score: Warriors 116 - Kings 106