The Golden State Warriors finished their six-game road trip 4-2 following a rather easy victory over the Boston Celtics, a game in which none of the Warriors’ starters played over 28 minutes. Golden State will celebrate their homecoming going up against the coldest team in the league not called the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlanta Hawks.
Frontcourt: With Al Horford out, Paul Millsap has been the Hawks’ best player, earning his first All-Star selection this season. He is expected to play in this game, but is also coming off a five-game absence. Millsap’s offense is extremely important to Atlanta and he has been trusted with taking a couple of threes a game, knocking down 37% of his long-range attempts. His offensive versatility can certainly create a mismatch early on. DeMarre Carroll and Elton Brand, on the other hand, are not really offensive juggernauts.
Backcourt: Jeff Teague has been doing very well offensively as of late, scoring 26 or more points in four the Hawks’ last five games. He is a very dynamic guard, who does have a tendency to become a little passive at times, but to his credit that hasn’t been the case lately. Kyle Korver’s glorious 3-point streak came to and end last game, but he is always a threat from beyond the arc, as is Louis Williams off the bench.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
Match up well against Millsap
As mentioned, Millsap has developed solid 3-point range, and if he pulls either David Lee or Andrew Bogut to the perimeter, that would obviously work in the Hawks’ advantage. Expect Mark Jackson to throw a bunch of different defenders at Millsap depending on whether he is trying to operate out of the post or through pick-and-rolls.
Keep Korver in his slump
After hitting a 3-pointer in each of his last 127 games, Korver came up short and didn’t make one against the Portland Trail Blazers. Now that he is riding this one-game slump, it will obviously be important for the Warriors to chase him off screens and negate the dynamic perimeter threat he provides for the Hawks.
Atlanta Hawks (26-33) vs. Golden State Warriors (38-24)
7:30 PM PST, March 7, 2014
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Hawks Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: DeMarre Carroll
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Elton Brand
Key Reserves: G Shelvin Mack G Louis Williams