The Warriors’ offense has been sporadic at best. They can be pretty explosive at times. But when they’re not hot, scoring can be a struggle.
That matters because the Kings have been playing REALLY good defense. The Kings are holding opponents to 39.2 percent shooting (2nd in NBA). They produce 10.7 steals (T-5th) and force 17.7 turnovers (10th) per game. The Kings have some big, physical bodies inside that really make it hard to score, specifically DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes, who is healthy and looking good. Carl Landry, the Warriors’ low-post specialist, figures to have to earn his buckets tonight.
Oddly enough, though, the Kings – usually a good rebounding team – are last in the league in differential. The first three games, they’ve been outrebounded by an average of 12 boards. The Warriors, sixth in that department (+5.3) actually should have the edge in that department.
Fortunately for the Warriors, it shouldn’t take an offensive explosion to outscore Sacramento. The Kings are averaging 88.3 points on 37.4 percent shooting. The three point guards (Isaiah Thompson, Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette) have combined for 11 assists on the season.
Here are some other things to watch for:
Andrew Bogut’s return to the lineup should help the Warriors deal with the physical Kings. Watch for how Mark Jackson divides his 20 minutes. It didn’t go over too well to have Bogut sitting out in the fourth quarter. Nor did it go over too well to have him rest for a super-long stretch to make sure he’s available in the fourth quarter.
Jackson may just have to do five minutes per quarter. Or, he may just have to bend the “process” a bit and go over 20 minutes. Certainly, some of that will depend on how he looks.
Klay Thompson is OK to play tonight. He was a little woozy and in pain at the end of the Clippers game after Blake Griffin fell on his head. Thompson’s nose and teeth smashed into the hardwood.
But Thompson is not on the injury report and is ready to go. Remember, Power Balance Pavilion is where Thompson first took over the starting job. Monta Ellis was traded to Milwaukee during pregame warm-ups before Golden State took on the Kings.
Watch the Thompson-Marcus Thornton match-up. These are the type of guys who may give Thompson problems. He certainly gets up for the big names. But Thornton, if you’re not careful, will light you up. Can Thompson slow down the undersized, aggressive scorer?
Richard Jefferson said he’s feeling better and better. He had a good showing against the Clippers in 22 minutes of action. Look to see if Mark Jackson increases his minutes or continues to give some to Draymond Green.