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Warriors vs. Kings Preview: Putting the deadline in the past

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Can the Dubs get back in the win column now that the deadline is behind them?

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m writing this article on Wednesday night, to be published first thing Thursday morning. Between the time when it’s published, and the time when the Golden State Warriors take on the Sacramento Kings, the NBA trade deadline will arrive and pass.

Will the Warriors make a big move? Will they make a little move? Will they make no move? We’ll soon find out, but it will certainly impact the game.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (22-22) vs. Sacramento Kings (19-25)

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

TV: NBC Sports Bay Area

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Kings: De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes

Last results:

Warriors: Lost to the 76ers 108-98 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Kings: Beat the Hawks 110-108 — 4-1 in their last 5 games

The story

This has been one of the biggest trade deadlines in recent memory for the Warriors, as rumors have swirled up one side and down the other, mainly about Kelly Oubre Jr. Whether they make a big move or sit on their hands, the showdown with the Kings represents an opportunity for the Warriors to move on. They’ll be starting the rest of their season, knowing who will be around and who won’t.

There’s some peace and clarity in that, and sometimes it helps teams dig deeper once the know for sure who they’re riding with. Whatever happens today, the Dubs need to put it behind them, and put their best foot forward against the Kings.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Draymond Green.

If the Warriors want to make a legitimate run up the standings in the West, then they need a bit more from Green. Perhaps he’s still dealing with symptoms of the coronavirus, or perhaps he’s just not fully engaged in a mediocre season. Both are understandable. But either way, he’s been less than 100%.

Green has had some outstanding games this season, and he’s only a week removed from a dominant 16 point, 12 rebound, and 10 assist performance against the Houston Rockets. But he’s also had a fair share of games where he’s largely absent, and the Warriors can’t afford that, especially with Steph Curry out.

King to watch: Harrison Barnes.

This might sound funny to say, but ... Harrison Barnes sure would look good in a Warriors jersey right about now. He’s averaging 16.5 points, a career-high 6.5 rebounds, and a career-high 3.7 assists per game. His defense has been strong, but most impressive is his career-best efficiency: his 62.1% true-shooting percentage towers over both his career average (54.9%), and prior season-high (57.4% last year).

On a Kings team full of intriguing talents, Barnes has quite arguably been their best player.

Matchup to watch: Jordan Poole vs. De’Aaron Fox.

Let the battle of exciting young guards begin. Poole is coming off of his worst game since his return from the G League, but even so he impressed with his confidence, decision-making, and execution. In eight games since returning, he’s averaging 20.6 points and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 41.0% from deep.

And Fox? Well, he’s averaging 23.8 points and 7.4 assists per game, and making it look smooth as butter.

Two very fun youngsters, who are bound to put on a show.

Keys to victory

  • Play with discipline and take care of the ball
  • Keep Richaun Holmes in check
  • Move the ball, find the open man, and take — and make — a lot of threes

Back in the win column, Dubs.