Who: Golden State Warriors vs Charlotte Bobcats
What: NBA Basketball – Warriors Home Game
When: 10:30 PM ET
Where: Live at ORACLE Arena
|Golden State||17-9||104.2 (9)||101.8 (13)||96.1 (7)|
|Charlotte||7-18||99.1 (25)||108.3 (30)||95.3 (8)|
Golden State: Andrew Bogut (OUT), Brandon Rush (OUT)
Charlotte: Tyrus Thomas (OUT)
|PG||Stephen Curry||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Klay Thompson||Ben Gordon|
|SF||Harrison Barnes||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|PF||Carl Landry||Byron Mullens|
|C||David Lee||Brendan Haywood|
|6th Man||Jarrett Jack||Bismack Biyombo|
Ethan Sherwood Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) from ESPN.com joins Greg and I to preview tonight’s tilt in Golden State. The Bobcats look to avoid 14 straight losses while the Warriors look to improve on their already impressive 17-9 start and make it 2-0 against Charlotte this season. Let’s go 3-on-3!
1- STATS: Golden State seems to have taken on the personality of their coach this season with a vastly improved defense (Def. Eff. 101.8; 13th) and a commitment to rebound the ball (52.3 Reb. Rate; 3rd). Charlotte does not have those same features to their style of play. In the first meeting between these two this season, the Warriors out-rebounded the Bobcats by 7 and held them to 37.3% shooting. Expect much of the same tonight?
Spencer: I do expect the Bobcats to be better from the field in this game and continue to seek fast break opportunities. In the past 10 games, albeit all losses, Charlotte has scored 20.2% of their total points off of fast break opportunities- that’s up from their season average of 17.8%. The quicker pace has been apparent in the team’s play. Problem for Charlotte has been on the defensive end of the floor. In the past 10 games the Bobcats opponents have shot 47.8% from the field and 41.5% from 3. Both of those numbers are far too high. To answer the question, I do expect a better defensive performance from Charlotte tonight on a day’s rest. The Bobcats have got to be tired of losing at this point, so I see a close game in the making.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss (ESPN.com): I do expect much of the same tonight, rebounding-wise, but it would not shock me to see Charlotte play better offensively. On defense, much of GSW’s defensive success is derived from making their lumbering bigs sink back on screens, instead of showing hard. Now, the defensive onus on the guards to chase their markers. Look for that tonight.
Greg: It’s hard to know what to expect from this Charlotte team. They occasionally play up to their opponent’s level, as seen in the games against the Clippers and the Lakers. But they’re also prone to blowouts, and it’s usually a result of the defense. The Bobcats have yet to beat a team with an above-average offensive efficiency, and it probably won’t happen tonight. Golden State is a poor matchup for the Bobcats, in particular — Charlotte has sunk to 28th place in three-point defense, letting opponents make over 38 percent. Golden State’s shooters should take advantage of that.
2- KEMBA STREAKING: Kemba has had 3 straight games with at least 27 points and 6 assists. Will that continue tonight against Charlotte native Stephen Curry, or will the Walker come back to earth a bit?
Spencer: Considering that this will be an up-tempo game and I expect the Bobcats to be competitive for 4 quarters tonight, I’m going to say that Kemba keeps it going. If he takes care of the ball as he has been doing well as of late, Charlotte will have a chance to win this one late. I’m saying it, trap game for Golden State.
Ethan: Isaiah Thomas exploited GSW’s aforementioned defensive style with speed and change-of-pace. I could see Kemba doing the same tonight. I’m not sure he’ll continue at 27 and 6, but it’s not unreasonable to expect an above average performance.
Greg: Kemba played well in that game, scoring 24 points and handing out six assists, and he didn’t even shoot particularly well (6-of-16). He got a boost at the free throw line, though, where he made nine of his 12 attempts. Golden State is foul-prone, ranking 24th in FT/FGA, so Kemba will probably get a decent amount of freebies tonight. That should help him keep up his recent stellar play.
3- PICK IT: Warriors got up big in the first meeting in Charlotte and held off the Bobcats late. Will Golden State cruise the whole game this time around, or is it time for Charlotte to end their 13-game losing streak?
Spencer: BOBCATS END THE STREAK TONIGHT! Yep, that’s right. I’m calling it. I’m tired of losing and I think the players have to feel the same way. I don’t really have a stat to throw at you as to why it will happen tonight, but it really feels like a classic trap game and the Bobcats will find a way to come out on the right side of a close game tonight.
Ethan: Oh I’m picking the Warriors. I love Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but to pick the Bobs on the road, I need a damned good reason. No offense, guys.
Greg: The Bobcats have had rough patches everywhere this year, but they’ve particularly struggled on the road. I already wrote about their poor three-point defense, but it gets even worse on road trips: Teams are shooting 42 percent from long range when the Bobcats are away from Charlotte. Their defense in general takes a significant drop, too, with their defensive rating going from 105.3 at home to 112.8 on the road. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t another easy win for the Warriors.