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Preview: Warriors at Kings — Let’s get this right

Golden State doesn’t have much margin for error these days, so we should go ahead and turn back into that juggernaut anytime now please.

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings
wait a minute...

The Golden State Warriors have gone 6-4 over their last ten games, featuring three ugly losses. First, the team got blown out on Christmas day by Lebron James for three quarters and then the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers roster for another quarter. And then, more recently, the Warriors suffered a pair of one-point losses to the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets.

No time to ponder the deep questions though because they are right back in action up in Sacramento taking on a dangerous but unpredictable Kings team.

Game Details


WHO: Warriors (25-14) at Sacramento Kings (19-19)

WHEN: Saturday, January 5; 7 p.m.

WHERE: Golden 1 Center — Sacramento, CA

WATCH: NBCSBA

WRADIO: 95.7 The Game

So far this season a threepeat has appeared every bit as difficult as predicted

Early injuries, subpar shooting and some roster construction and (perhaps) scheme issues have all contributed to the Warriors’ struggles.

Golden State has one more game tonight against a fast-paced Sacramento Kings team and then a few days off until they play the New York Knicks on Tuesday. You can be sure they want to go into the weekend with a win and are stinging from blowing that late lead and eventually losing to the Rockets. Based on what we’ve seen so far this season, this game could honestly go either way.

It’s not really the offense

If you look at the numbers, the Warriors problems aren’t really the offense. In spite of all that stuff mentioned above, the Warriors are still managing to be an elite offensive team. Sure, they could be better, but take a look at this excellent graphic from Shane Young and note where the team falls. We have the second best offense in the entire league... while weathering all those injuries and missing Klay Thompson’s shooting.

Oh, you Kangz!

The Sacramento Kings are a wacky team right now. When we first met them earlier this season, they were a 10-8 team holding on to the 8th seed in a crowded Western Conference. They are young, talented and can run and shoot. They lead the league (by a fair margin) in fast break points, hit their threes at a 38.4 percent clip and are the sort of young athletic team that is starting to give our old fellas some trouble.

However, they’ve slid recently. Sitting at .500 and looking uphill at the Lakers, Spurs and a bunch of other teams that could keep them just outside that playoff shoulder if their play doesn’t improve.

Like the Warriors, the Kings have been stung a bit by shooting slumps and injuries lately. And those games they’ve dropped during the recent slide included some tough, tight games. They are likely to play this game without Marvin Bagley III — who has been pretty good for them this season — as he’s currently listed as out with a bone bruise.

Matchup to watch: Klay Thompson vs. Buddy Heild

Keep an eye on the wings in this one. Thompson has held a special place in his heart for Sacramento after laying a historic 37 point third quarter on them. Finding this guy again would be awesome.

Buddy Heild is putting up numbers too, if not quite at the same scale — 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Nearly half his shots are threes and he’s hitting them at 43 percent on the season.

This is a good opportunity for both players to take stock of their games and size themselves up against each other.

Prediction

Twice the offense, half the defense!

Warriors 116, Kings 115

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