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Warriors vs. Hawks preview: Help us, Draymond

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The Warriors need a win, and hopefully they can remember how to play defense as they chase one.

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Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have their first losing record since they were 2-3. And with Steph Curry sidelined, things remain difficult, even as the schedule has eased up.

Next up is the Atlanta Hawks, a team the Warriors should have a good chance against, even if Curry will still be sorely missed.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (22-23) vs. Atlanta Hawks (22-22)

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

TV: ESPN (available on fuboTV)

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Hawks: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Tony Snell, John Collins, Clint Capela

Latest results:

Warriors: Lost to the Kings 141-119 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Hawks: Lost to the Kings 110-108 — 2-3 in their last 5 games

The story

Defense. Defense is the story. Defense is the only story.

The Warriors played one of the worst defensive games you’ll ever see on Thursday, giving up 141 points to a middling Kings team, and allowing them to exceed 60% shooting on the night. Draymond Green will hopefully be returning from illness, and the Warriors need every bit of defensive brilliance that he can muster.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Jordan Poole.

At this point it may not just be a streak or a short-lived trend. Poole has been playing like the best Warrior not named “Steph Curry” or “Draymond Green.” Right now he genuinely looks like the Warriors best healthy guard/wing, and they’ve got $50 million a year committed to Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole. The Dubs need his offense.

Hawk to watch: Trae Young.

While Young will give Poole plenty of opportunities — this is my way of pointing out that he’s a horrific defender — he’ll also do tons of damage with the basketball, and you’ll want to watch every second of it.

Matchup to watch: James Wiseman vs. Clint Capela.

Wiseman will look to bounce back from one of the worst games of his young career, and he’ll have a large and athletic center to do it against.

Keys to victory

  • Shoot a lot of threes, make a lot of threes
  • Make life hard for Trae Young, and hold him to an inefficient night
  • Have a decent showing on the glass
  • Keep Atlanta’s secondary scorers at bay

Stop the bleeding, Warriors.