After a couple of tough losses, the Golden State Warriors went back to the drawing board and showed up big-time in their last game. They came out of Sunday’s contest with a statement victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, shutting down the best offensive team in the league.
Tuesday evening, the Washington Wizards will be the Warriors’ opposition for the second time in January. Last time around, Golden State came out of their halftime break fired up, and used a 34-15 third quarter to shut down John Wall and the Wizards in Washington.
Frontcourt: The Wizards have an unpredictable frontcourt. Sometimes, the trio of Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat and Nene can be barely noticable, while putting up monster games in other instances. Nene is likely the hardest cover for the Warriors, and could take advantage of David Lee. In the last meeting, Nene scored 14 points and connected on six of his nine shot attempts in 25 minutes off the bench.
As with many matchups which make it tough on Lee defensively, the Warriors’ starting power forward was also able to take advantage of the Wizards on the other end of the floor in the last game. He scored 21 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and was a good playmaker out of the post with six assists. He was able to get any look he wanted down low, connecting on 10 of his 16 shots.
Backcourt: In the last meeting, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry outdueled the potent backcourt of Washington. Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 30.7% shooting from the field. Curry also struggled with his shot, mirroring Wall’s stats with 14 points and 10 assists, but Thompson knocked down six of his nine three-pointers for a game-high 26 points.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
Froncourt battle: The Warriors got whatever they wanted down low against Washington in their last game, as both Lee and Andrew Bogut had very efficient double-doubles. If Curry’s shot isn’t falling on the day, Golden State will probably still be able to find good looks in the post and out of the pick-and-roll.
Guard the perimeter: The Wizards are just behind Golden State in three-point percentage, ranking fifth in the league. When they shoot above their average of 38% from three-point range, they are 14-3. Chasing Beal off screens and closing out on shooters in corners will be very important.
Washington Wizards (21-22) vs. Golden State Warriors (27-18)
7:30 PM PST, January 28, 2014
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Wizards Projected Starting Line-up
PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Nene Hilario
C: Marcin Gortat
Key Reserves: F Martell Webster, F Trevor Booker