Golden State has the 3rd worst record in the West at 9-18, but they’re still 3 games ahead of the Kings. In their last 10 games they’re 1-9, and their road record of 3-12 is only marginally worse to the Kings home record of 3-11. After getting off to a great start winning 7 of their first 11 games, the Warriors have only won 2 of their last 16 games and both of those came against the Twolves.
There was a lot of player movement in the offseason, mostly to reduce salary in anticipation of the sale of the team. The end result was Corey Maggette going to Milwaukee for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric. C.J. Watson going to Chicago and Anthony Morrow going to New Jersey for future 2nd round picks. Then the biggie, David Lee coming from New York for Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and a future 2nd rounder. And, then there were some FA acquesitions; Acie Law, Louis Amundson, Rodney Carney and Dorell Wright. And, rookies, Ekpe Udoh the 6th pick overall in the draft and undrafted FA out of Harvard Jeremy Lin.
Under new ownership and new coach Keith Smart, the Warriors are no longer the fastest paced team in the League but they’re still in the top 6-8. They still put up around 100 ppg but they give up 106. While the Kings score around 95 and give up 102. The Warriors are the 2nd best 3pt shooting team in the league and the Kings are the 2nd worst. Surprisingly, Golden State is only slightly better than the Kings in FT shooting at 71.5% and they have almost identical Offensive Rebounding Rate. The Warriors have a higher turnover rate and they are last in Free Throw Rate getting to the line once for every 4 FGA’s.
Andris Biedrins is in the top 10 centers in rebounding averaging 9.8 rpg. And while his 6.7 ppg average isn’t huge it is efficient coming from only 6 FGA’s per game almost entirely inside. To date, he’s only taken 5 shots outside 10ft. David Lee’s numbers are down from last year, but he’s still averaging a Double-Double of 14.8pts and 10.1 rebs per game. His FG% has dropped 10% and like Biedrins, most of Lee’s scoring comes from inside 10ft. He’s never been a good outside shooter, but this has been his worst season, hitting only 26% of his outside jumpers. Dorell Wright a 6-9 forward has started all 27 games at SF. After playing 6 yrs in Miami as a reserve, he’s now averaging 14.8 pts / 6.1 rebs / 3 asts in 39 mpg, and he’s shooting 39.4% from beyond the arc. Reggie Williams was signed to a 1 yr deal after signing 2 ten-day contracts last season. He’s a 6-6 SG who’s started the last 5 games since Curry went out with an ankle injury. He’s been on fire averaging 21 pts / 4 rebs / 3 asts on 54.5% FG% and 56.3% from 3pt range over the last 5 games. Monta Ellis has taken over the PG duties and is averaging 23 pts/ 3.6 rebs / 5.8 asts in 42 mpg.
With Biedrins out since the Dec 14th game against Minnosota, Lee has been starting at center and Louis Amundson moved in to replace Lee at PF. But, he’s only averaging 18 mpg and 5 pts / 3 rebs. Rookie Udoh has only seen limited minutes actually 10 total over 3 games, before playing 24 minutes last night against Houston.. Vladimir Radmanovic is seeing most of the backup big minutes, with Acie Law backing up the guards and Rodney Carney seeing some minutes at the wing.
With Curry and Biedrins possibly missing the game with injured ankles, the Warriors become a 2 man team of Lee and Ellis. But as Houston found out last night, when Ellis put up 44 and Lee up 19, the Warriors don’t need more than 2 to be able to score over 110 pts on you. So, we can’t play at Golden States pace, we need to slow the game down, limit turnovers and take high percentage shots. We can’t afford to get behind because we won’t win a 3pt shooting contest. The Warriors give up the most baskets inside 10 ft and the 6th most at the rim, so we need to use our size and pound the ball inside. And, by size I don't just mean DeMarcus. I mean Tyreke and all the front court players, Donte and Omri included. We did it well enough against a similar sized Houston team, but can’t afford to get away from it and panic when the game gets tight.
We’re at home and they might be without 2 of their best players. If we don’t win, every player on the Kings should be ashamed to show his face in public. And even if Curry and Biedrins return, the Kings have been playing good enough ball to win at home. Go Kings!