Warriors looking to Start New Winning Streak
The Warriors begin a mini 4 game homesstand tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, errr, Hornets tonight. Mini in the sense that they have to drive the 45 minutes to Sacramento on Wednesday and then don’t play again until Friday. The next 3 games against the Hornets, Kings, and Bobcats will allow the Warriors to feast on lesser competition and pad the win column before the Lakers come in on Saturday for another benchmark setting game.
The Warriors are coming off of an impressive 6-1 road trip where they were able to open up a lot of national eyes as to what is going on right now in Oakland. David Lee is coming off of a Western Conference Player of the Week honors where he averaged 22.8 pts, 12.5 reb, 2.8 asst, 1 stl, and shot 60% from the field. Lee will be looking to feast on the Hornets tonight but he will have to deal with the presence of Anthony Davis even if he is coming off of the bench for the Hornets because of a recent ankle injury. The pterodactyl like wingspan of Davis should cause some consternation for Lee, Landry, and anyone else on the Warriors looking to drive the lane.
It feels weird saying this and even weirder actually typing this but the Warriors just need to keep doing what they have been doing all season long and that is play Defense. I think I just had a brain aneurism because the words Defense and Warriors typed into the same sentence. The venerable Adam Lauridsen does a great job of breaking down the finer points of the Warriors defensive improvement and pretty much sums up why the Warriors have been able to put together their 16-8 record. That being said, they need to continue to play defense and cannot take teams like the Hornets and the Kings lightly because in the blink of an eye what seems like a pretty cozy homestand can snowball into a losing streak before they face an actual test like the Lakers on Saturday.
So here are some keys for tonight if the Warriors want to walk away with an easy win against the Hornets aka Pelicans:
1.) Keep the Ball Movement going. For the first time in a long time, the Warriors seem to be passing in order to get the best shot possible. Yes it does help when you have dead eye shooters like Thompson and Curry to kick it too, but the fact that the Warriors are making the extra pass and capitalizing on it is great to watch as a basketball fan. Curry and Jarrett Jack have been doing a great job of distributing the ball and getting it to the player with the best mismatch.
2.) Keep Calm and Stay Rebounding. At first I wanted to photoshop some image of the Queen of England’s meme but then thought better of it. The Warriors are rebounding at a crazy rate and need to continue doing so. Currently they are ranked 3rd in the League at Total Rebounds Per Game at 45.75 and just need to hit their average in order to put this game away early. I completely expect Carl Landry and David Lee to get 12-15 Rebounds a piece tonight versus the Hornets. Where’s a bookie when you need one.
3.) Finally, Don’t lose to the Pelicans. If the Warriors can not muster up enough energy to make sure that they don’t lose to a team that will soon change its name to the Pelicans, then they don’t deserve to make the Playoffs. The Warriors need to feast on teams like this and take ever opportunity to get their pound of flesh out of the lower rungs of the NBA. That way when Arpil rolls around, Warriors fans aren’t lamenting about losses early in the season to teams like the Pelicans as the reasons they are not in the playoffs.
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