« Following Eric Gordon’s Twitter Account
Game On: Hornets @ Warriors
Be careful what you wish for, because this Warriors team might be playing its best basketball since the Dallas playoff series back in 2007. The Warriors have won 11 out of their last 14 games, with seven of those wins coming on the road. They are playing fantastic defense as of late and are getting efficient offensive seasons by Stephen Curry, David Lee, Jarrett Jack, and Carl Landry. This will be their first game back at home since December 3rd, so expect an energetic crowd there to support a team that is all of a sudden competing for home court in the Western Conference playoffs.
Keys to the Game
1. Get to the Free Throw Line
The Warriors don’t give up offensive rebounds (#1 DRR in the league) but they do tend to send opposing teams to the line (22nd). The Hornets aren’t going to be able to get a lot of second chance possessions, so they need to be as efficient as possible and free throws are the most efficient scoring opportunity in all of basketball.The Warriors don’t block a lot of shots (29th) and they don’t get alot of steals (23rd), so the Hornets can attack without fear of making mistakes against this team. Festus Ezili, Draymond Green, and Andris Biendris all have remarkably high foul rates, so those are the guys to attack.
2. Don’t Settle for Three’s
The Warriors do exactly what the Hornets want to do, and it is no surprise since they stole the coach who helped set up our defensive scheme- Mike Malone. They get teams to take a ton of contested three’s every game, and since they are contested, teams shoot a poor percentage (33%; 4th best in the league). The Warriors play at a fast pace (5th in NBA) and when the game gets hectic, teams fall right into their trap and play their style, rather than setting up the offense and pounding them inside where they are vulnerable.
3. Watch the Roll Man
According to Synergy Sports, the Pick and Roll accounts for 18% of the Warriors offense. When the P&R ballhandler keeps the ball and takes the shot, he only shoots 39%, while the roll man shoots over 44% when he gets the ball. While it might sound crazy to go under screens against a team led by Stephen Curry, it might be better idea than to hedge or show because Davis Lee (52%) is just killing teams when he rolls to the bucket.
Update: Monty announced his starting lineup and there are a few changes. Starters will be: Vasquez, Rivers, L. Thomas, Davis, and Lopez. Thomas will have an interesting match-up tonight with Harrison Barnes, an ultra-athletic but raw player who Thomas could kill on the boards if he attacks them. Anderson moving back to the bench should give that unit a much needed scoring punch, and regardless of who starts, Davis and Anderson will be finishing this game up front.