When: Thursday, February 8 @ 7:30 PM PST
Where: Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
TV: FSSW, CSBA
Radio: 95.7 The Game
The opponent’s blog: Mavs Moneyball
Jordan Bell (doubtful)
Dorian Finney-Smith (out)
Seth Curry (out)
Nerlens Noel (out)
Harrison Barnes (questionable)
Are we there yet? The All-Star break, that is.
This is what I imagined the Warriors’ players were collectively singing to Steve Kerr and the rest of the coaching staff on their flight back from Denver over the weekend.
After an impressive road trip and some solid wins over contenders such as the Timberwolves, Raptors, Cavaliers and Celtics in January, the last week and a half has been littered with some of the ugliest performances we’ve seen the Warriors put forth this season.
Undoubtedly, the past several years have spoiled fans with the expectation that this behemoth of a team should be continually living up to its potential of unconsciously destroying opponents on a nightly basis.
But, alas, it appears the monster is ready to turn down for a bit of hibernation — to rest its weary bones and minds, as the toll from three straight trips to the NBA Finals has begun to rear its ugly head.
Four more games lay in wait before these Dubs and the All-Star hiatus they seek.
For the sake of fans everywhere, the first-place seed, and any clipboard that may regrettably find itself in Kerr’s hands, let’s hope this team can catch a second wind to close out the remaining first half of this season.
Protecting the three-point line
The bread and butter to the Mavericks’ offense is taking and making a ton of three-pointers. They’re nowhere in the stratosphere of the Rockets in terms of attempts, but the Mavs still put up the fourth most attempts per-game and knock them down at a respectable 36.2%, according to NBA.com.
Dallas has five guys who all averaged more than four attempts per game since the beginning of 2018, and all of them — save for one (but more on that later) — are shooting at or above that 36% mark.
That group includes Wesley Matthews, Yogi Ferrell, Harrison Barnes (the honorary GSoM Slack channel favorite) and Dirk Nowitzki.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have experienced a fall from grace on the defensive end over the past month and their ability to defend the three-point line has been no exception.
In the last game against the Mavericks, Matthews and Ferrell combined for 10-of-16 on three-pointers against Golden State, and Dallas had a total 19 triples. The Dubs barely escaped with a win on a Stephen Curry buzzer beater.
Should the Warriors decide to play defense, their best bet would be to close out hard on those Dallas shooters.
Except for Dennis Smith Jr.
Comparisons sometimes irk people, but in true Russell Westbrookian fashion, Smith has been throwing up close to five three-pointers per game, while shooting 27% from behind the line since January.
In stark contrast to his outside game, Smith converts a decent 55% of his shots around the restricted zone (less than five feet to the basket).
It would be great to see the Warriors learn from their mistakes against Westbrook earlier this week by trying to force Smith into a jump-shooting role.
Sag off him and encourage the kid to let it rip.