Inside the Scope: Golden State Warriors (13-7) x Charlotte Bobcats (7-12)
- Tip Off: 4:00 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Charlotte Bobcats Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 98.5 (25th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 105.8 (tied for 25th in NBA)
- Points: Kemba Walker, 17.4 PPG
- Rebounds: Byron Mullens, 7.8 RPG
- Assists: Kemba Walker, 6.1 APG
- Steals: Kemba Walker, 2.1 SPG
- Blocks: Bismack Biyombo, 1.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Brendan Haywood, 51.6% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Gerald Henderson, 63.6% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Queen City Hoops
Preview: We turned over to our Warriors World staff and went 3-on-3 to preview the game against the Charlotte Bobcats today.
Worth noting, Queen City Hoops also ran a 3-on-3 post featuring a member of Warriors World, the post can be found here.
Jordan Ramirez: Trend. After a worrisome first few games of the season Stephen Curry has come on greatly and is showing why the Warriors gave him that healthy extension before the season began. Agree or disagree with the four year extension, Curry is playing great this season and is making a legitimate case to be a Western Conference All-Star. Will Curry continue to average 23 and 8 for the entire season, probably not, but the skill level is there to keep up a high point output while also dishing out decent assist numbers. His nearly 48% shooting is impressive, and as great a shooter as Curry is it’ll be extremely difficult to keep that up throughout the entire season. While the three stats listed will all go down slightly by years end, it’s certainly an encouraging sign, and it’s just a matter of how many games Curry will play to determine how much these stats increase/decrease. Curry has played great the early part of this road trip, and they’re going to need this play to continue the next four games to turn this impressive 3-0 trip into a special one.
Jack Winter: Trend. Curry is one of the most skilled and crafty guards in the league, combining his renowned jumper with a deft handle and developing point guard skills. Through the first eight games of the season he shot 37.1% from the field and averaged 17.0 points per game; given his considerable gifts and some logical progression in his fourth year as a pro, those numbers were bound to improve and they have.
The question now is whether or not his recent play is sustainable. It’s likely no player in the NBA will boast statistics like those of Curry’s last five games come season’s end, so the safe answer is he’ll regress to the mean a bit as December wears on. But even his “ordinary” play is actually anything but; if you didn’t know Curry was an All-Star level player before this stretch, you certainly do now.
J.M. Poulard: Trend. Curry has looked really good as of late, but it doesn’t feel as though he’s been playing out of his mind. If anything, he’s just been doing what he’s always done, except he’s increased the frequency given the added confidence in his skills as well as the fact that teammates coupled with the coaching staff are leaning on him more than ever before.
As odd as this might sound, this looks like the Curry many fell in love with at Davidson.
2. Better point guard of the future: Stephen Curry or John Wall (if healthy)?
Jordan Ramirez: Even with his injury past, Stephen Curry is the better point guard of the future. Curry is the better shooter, passer and better game manager than John Wall. Wall is prone for the flashy dunk or breakaway once in awhile, but there have been no signs that he can properly lead a team. To his defense, the Wizards talent surrounding Wall has been atrocious, but my answer doesn’t change even with hypothetical talent around Wall. Coming from Kentucky and being the #1 pick is a tough spot to be, the assumption is greatness, and achieving this greatness fairly soon. Wall has been nothing short of a disappointment, even before the injury, and at to the fact that Curry is having an All-Star caliber season and you have a rather easy answer. Wall has his positives — athleticism, ball handling, dancing — but they don’t add up to a successful NBA point guard. Curry has the tools to become a successful playoff PG, it’s just a matter of health for the 4th year guard out of Davidson.
Jack Winter: Curry. It’s an easy answer now given Golden State’s success and Wall’s extended absence this season, but it would have been anything but in October. For all of Curry’s underrated traits of pace and lateral quickness, he still doesn’t come close to matching Wall in terms of dynamic athleticism. Only superstars like Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are on Wall’s wavelength of size, speed, power, quickness, and leaping ability, and some league personnel will tell you he may have those guys beat, too.
The parallels don’t end there, either. Both Westbrook and Rose came into their own as players in their third seasons, and the expectation was that Wall – finally flanked by semi-competent talent in Washington – would follow suit and explode onto the national scene in 2012-2013. And he may still once he finally gets back on the court, but until then the production of Curry far outweighs the potential of Wall; unfortunately, we just haven’t seen enough impactful play from the latter to say otherwise.
J.M. Poulard: Point guards, especially young ones tend to take long to develop into elite players at the position and thus it’s somewhat unfair to judge both given that Curry has been in the league longer. But with that said, based on what I’ve seen so far and what I’m projecting for Wall, I’m inclined to side with Curry in this one because he’s had the opportunity to play alongside a few veterans that taught him the ropes and eventually helped him develop into the player he is today.
Wall on the other hand has played with Nick Young, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee; which aren’t exactly the most exemplary players to put a young star in the making next to. To be fair, most of them have been jettisoned, but one can’t help but think their presence may have stymied his growth to some extent.
3. Is Golden State’s 3-0 record on this current east coast trip a product of poor play from their opponents, or are the Warriors in the midst of turning the corner?
Jordan Ramirez: I hate to have a cop out answer here, but it’s really a combination of the two. The Warriors are indeed turning the corner: their talent level is the best its been in years, they have three impressive rookies, a nice bench, improving defense, and their point guard is playing at an All-Star level. But with all that said, their quality of opponents has been, shall we say, abhorrent two of the three games of this road trip. Brooklyn is the only team the Warriors have played that will actually make the playoffs, while Detroit and Washington are hoping the ping pong balls bounce their way come draft time. Still, for a young team hoping to establish themselves as a playoff team (without their top center) any road win is a impressive one. In previous seasons, fans have become accustomed to assuming a loss when the Warriors are on the road. Now, as the team plays better and shows it can indeed win the games they should win, the idea that of a must-win road game is becoming a reality. Detroit and Washington both shot the ball well (44% and 43% respectively) during those games, but the Warriors, being the supremely talented team, found a way to win. This is what good teams do, and it’s becoming clearer by the game that this team is indeed a good one.
Jack Winter: Neither, because the Warriors have fully turned the proverbial corner. Road wins even against bottom-dwellers like Detroit and Washington are nothing to apologize for, especially when intersected by a victory at Barclays over the new-look Nets.
Golden State is clicking on offense like we thought they would coming into the year, and the defense has remained reliably stingy. Bogut or no Bogut, this is one of the NBA’s most balanced teams. The scary part for the rest of the league? The Warriors’ collective arrow is still pointing up. Barring a drastic and unforeseen trend the other direction, all signs point to playoff basketball in the Bay come Spring.
J.M. Poulard: Golden State’s defense has been a big part of the reason that they’ve been able to hold their own so far on this east coast swing. Provided that the team maintains its defensive identity – and I’m inclined to believe it will – I have to operate under the assumption that this is the team we’re going to see for the remainder of the season and it’s a pretty good one. Keep in mind, I’m not even factoring in Bogut’s eventual return to the team.