The Warriors went ice cold and ended up relying on Marreese Speights. He delivered with 28 points and willed the team to a victory. The Warriors sit on top of a five game win streak and look to extend it on the second game of the five game road trip. Against the Thunder, the Warriors felt the hostility of the home crowd and felt the wrath of the NBA referees proving an NBA victory on the road is always tough.
The Miami Heat won their last game on Chris Bosh’s go-ahead basket. The Heat have been dealing with injuries to their core (Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen). Without LeBron James, the Heat are no longer the dominant force they once were but they continue to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference.
Injury Report: (GSW) David Lee, Andrew Bogut (MIA) Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen.
Players To Watch
The Heat are 5-1 when Deng scores 14 or more points. Without Dwyane Wade, the scoring has slowed and the NBA veteran has to help Bosh if they want to keep up. In his first season with the Heat, Deng is averaging 14.7 points and nearly 5 rebounds per game. He will be matched up with Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala. Don’t be surprised to see these players become the X-factor for the winning team.
Cole is expected to make his return in tonight’s game. His defense is pesky and he will look to make the Warriors point guards’ lives miserable. He has been a great role player and he plays hard. Look for his hustle to disrupt the Warriors’ offensive flow. This season he’s averaging 7.4 points and 3.5 asssits per game.
Keys To Victory
Play Through Injuries
The Warriors have already been hampered with injuries on the beginning of this road trip. It will be key for bench players to step up as Speights did against the Thunder. It would be crazy to forcefully rely on him again but the team will need to fill in for one another on any given night.
Slow Chris Bosh
The front court depth is threatened if Andrew Bogut can’t play. David Lee has been sidelined for practically the whole season. It will be upon Festus Ezeli to play defense without fouling and Speights to keep up his energy. Bosh is nearly a double double machine as he averages 21 points and 9 rebounds.