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What to Watch For – Game #3

The player the Warriors wanted (Tyson Chandler) comes to town tonight. And he’ll be matched up against the player the Warriors didn’t really want (Andris Biedrins).

Chandler rejected the Warriors’ overtures for upwards of $13 million per year. Instead, he chose big money in New York, where he is all but guaranteed to be back in the playoffs and perhaps even contending for a championship. Tonight represents the only opportunity for the Warriors to exact any kind of revenge against. And it will be the only opportunity for Andris Biedrins to match up against the guy for whom the Warriors were ready to send Biedrins packing.

In reality, Biedrins may end up defending Amar’e Stoudemire and Chandler will likely be defended by Lee. Still, Biedrins can one-up Chandler by bringing more energy, having an impact on offense and making sure Chandler doesn’t catch any sick lobs.

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It is highly likely, however, that Chandler shows exactly why the Warriors wanted him by protecting the basket, dominating the boards and finishing with authority. But if anyone can match Chandler’s energy and hustle, it’s Biedrins. With Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh also getting time at C, Biedrins should be able to give such energy.

Here are some other things to watch for tonight:

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Who defends Carmelo Anthony: Tonight may be a good time for Mark Jackson to go with that big frontline, featuring Ekpe Udoh at small forward. Dorell Wright is an OK defender, but he’s too small and not quick enough for Carmelo Anthony. Udoh may have the best combination of size, athleticism and strength to defend Carmelo (though Ekpe may not be quick enough). Anthony went for 37 in the opener against a good defensive team in Boston. He usually has good games at Oracle. It will be interesting to see how Jackson goes about slowing down Carmelo.

Of course, there is also that Stoudemire guy. If Lee starts on Amar’e, that will be a big sign of confidence by Jackson. Lee defended Blake Griffin pretty well, but Amar’e is a much more polished post defender.

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Klay Thompson’s minutes: The emergence of Brandon Rush has led to a decline in playing time for rookie first-round pick Klay Thompson. He went from the first perimeter player off the bench in the opener on Sunday to playing just six minutes in the second half Monday against the Bulls.

Better believe Thompson noticed. He was the last guy on the court Tuesday after practice, working on his game.

THOMPSON: “From a competitive standpoint, I only played 10 minutes (Monday). I thought I helped in a lot of ways and we won the game, but you want to get your work in. If you don’t play 30, 40 minutes, there is no reason you shouldn’t be out here.”

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  Stephen Curry’s ankle: Obviously, how his sprained right ankle is holding up will be of utmost importance. If Curry doesn’t play, that means Monta Ellis’ minutes will jump considerably, and the Warriors’ offense will be lacking one of its better scorers and play makers. Curry looked great Monday, especially as a playmaker. He seemed to be more focused on setting other guys up and waited for his opportunity to score.

If he plays, look to see if he takes a similar approach early – throwing lobs, pushing the ball to create opportunities, odd-angled cross court passes to get an open look from the weakside, etc. It opens up his game, as it spreads the defense and builds his confidence, and it’s less stressful on that ankle. When he’s in floor general mode, the game is more cerebral than physical. He dribbles less and thinks more.

BTW, unless his ankle is killing him, I see Curry playing. But the smart move may be to rest, giving him four days of complete rest. On the other hand, he had seven months to rest it and that didn’t work.

 

 

Marcus Thompson

  • Sleepy Freud

    Monta is by far our best player and should go off for 35 and bring home a W for the W’s!! Go Monta Go!!

  • GSWlifer

    If the W’s win tonight, we may have to start thinking about them as a real threat for the 7 or 8 seed. Perhaps they can draft a little bit off of that 49ers mojo.

  • DW

    Just put Rush on Melo. He’s big enough.

  • Gummy

    Beans need that hairstyle back

  • commish

    Can you ever imagine Nelson or Smart using rookies and unproven veterans to keep a talented team like the Knicks in check until the wunder-pickup Rush got hot and Monta could find his mojo. I was so impressed with Jackson’s moxy and confidence in making decisions that work. Very encouraging

  • http://betterwithmayo@yahoo.com jeff

    The whole organzation is doing well from top to bottom. Picking up part palyers who have a skill set that the team can use and have having a Coach who knows how to use those parts = good basketball. When working, this formula will win you a lot of games. It is a great start towards getting that one great player who can create on his own/require double teams/etc. We have that person on certain nights depending on match ups, but we don’t have that (let’s just say it) “Chirs Paul” type player who can take a game over no matter the match up (look at D’Wade also). It will be interesting to see what we do at the trade deadline. We are one of the youngest teams in the league, and have assessts to move if we can somehow be in the mix at the deadline (and some of the more established teams underperforming), maybe there can be another “Baron Davis” out there for the W’s…