Tip Off: 7:00 PM (PST)
Sacramento Golden State
PG – Isaiah Thomas Nate Robinson
SG – Marcus Thornton Klay Thompson
SF – John Salmons Dorell Wright
PF – DeMarcus Cousins David Lee
C – Jason Thompson Jeremy Tyler
Scope the opposition: Get your Hornets fix at Cowbell Kingdom.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors are coming off a blowout loss in Houston in which the Dubs did very little well. The offense was stagnant in the second half and the defense essentially conceded just about anything and everything to the Rockets. Tonight, the GSW will be hosting a Sacramento Kings team that has won four of their past five contests.
The last time these two teams met, Monta Ellis entered Power Balance Pavilion as a Warriors player but soon exited the building after receiving news that he had just been traded away to the Milwaukee Bucks.
When the Warriors and Kings last met on March 13th, the Dubs spanked the hometown royalty on the road as evidenced by the 115-89 final score. Golden State was victorious in the contest because they were able to outpace their opponents in some key statistical aspects of the game: field goal shooting, rebounding and turnovers.
That night, the Dubs converted 50.5 percent of their field goals and converted 12-of-24 shot from 3-point range despite Stephen Curry missing the game due to a sprained right ankle. A big part of why the Warriors had success converting from the field was that Sacramento’s interior defense was extremely porous. Indeed, the Kings rotations were consistently late and their defensive effort left much to be desired as the Warriors scored 50 points in the paint and used their drives to set up open 3-pointers.
Sacramento on the other hand did a poor job of sharing the ball, piling up only 11 assists on the night. At times, the Kings are their own worst enemies as they favor a playground style offense that results in one pass and then the player with the ball trying to breakdown his defender one-on-one. On this night, it led to Sacto only converting 40.2 percent of their shots from the floor and turning the ball over 13 times. The amount of miscues was actually a decent figure by NBA standards, but their defense only turned the Warriors over seven times.
In addition, one would have expected the Kings to easily win the rebounding battle against a Warriors team that was forced to play Andris Biedrins, David Lee and Dominic McGuire the bulk of the minutes in the frontcourt. Instead, Golden State more than held their own as they collected 45 rebounds while Sacramento garnered 44.
Instead of relying of their big people to clean up the glass, the Dubs sent in their perimeter players to help out on this front. Dorell Wright led the team in rebounding with 10, while Brandon Rush chipped in with eight boards and Klay Thompson snatched four.
With that said, it will probably be tough for the Warriors reproduce this kind of rebounding effort against the Kings tonight at Oracle Arena, however they will get opportunities to get in the lane for some easy scores and set up their shooters for open looks from deep.
It’s highly doubtful that this contest will once again get away from the Kings as it did on March 13th, however the Warriors should have a chance to win the game late on the strength of their shooting and interior scoring once their perimeter players put the ball on the floor to get into the lane.
Golden State’s defense is still a work in progress, but if Sacramento comes out running the Above the Rim offense, the Warriors may end up looking like this season’s Chicago Bulls team by night’s end.
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