The Golden State Warriors will look to end 2013 on a high note, as they take on the Orlando Magic on the road on New Year’s Eve.
Andre Iguodala’s return has been huge for the team, as the Warriors are on a five-game winning streak, coming off a tough overtime victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Orlando Magic are getting the hang of the tanking thing, as they have gone 4-14 in December, although they have won their last two games against the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons.
Keys to the game
Off Eff: Warriors: 103.3 (12th) Magic: 99.6 (23rd)
Def Eff: Warriors 98.5 (4th) Magic: 102.5 (13th)
Pace: Warriors: 99.2 (4th) Magic: 97.0 (14th)
Let it fly
The Magic are one of the worst teams in the league guarding the perimeter. They allow their opponents a 37.8 three-point percentage, ranking 27th in the league. They also allow their opponents 1.05 points per play in spot-ups, which ranks them 25th. Needless to say, shooting threes is what the Warriors love to do and they should have plenty of open looks against the Magic. This could be a good game for Klay Thompson to get his three-point shot back on track.
Limit offensive options
Orlando has a pretty messy offense. The team’s major threat is down low and Golden State willl have to defend the post well. Outside of Nikola Vucevic, the team has guys off the bench who can be effective in the post and forcing the ball outside would benefit the Warriors greatly.
Mr. Triple Double?
Stephen Curry came one rebound short of back-to-back triple doubles and he has done a fantastic job setting guys up all season long. The Warriors need Curry to keep up his playmaking and scoring, especially with Thompson unable to hit anything from beyond the arc as of late. He could see a pretty big dose of the rookie Victor Oladipo.
Toney Douglas (Questionable)
Jermaine O’Neal (Out)
Ognjen Kuzmic (Out)
Festus Ezeli (Out)
None reported as of writing.