Oklahoma City Thunder (34-18, 16-10 Away) Golden State Warriors (23-29) (17-11 Home)
On a day headlined by the Miami Heat visiting the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers looking to win against the new and improved Orlando Magic in a rematch of the 2009 NBA finals, one would think that an NBA junkie like myself would be glued to the TV, focusing all my attention on which of these four championship contenders look the most capable of holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy. However, when you’re a die-hard, passionate, and avid Golden State Warrior Fan from the Bay, this is far from the case. Instead, I am more focused on how former Warriors J-rich and Agent 0 are adjusting to their new roles in Orlando. I’m looking to see former Hayward High standout Eddie House hit a clutch three pointer and pretend to carry his balls again. .
And of course, I am looking to see Kobe Bryant have a terrible game and end every Jordan vs. Kobe comparison out there while the Lakers lose by 30. By the way, win 6 championships Kobe, and then people maybe, just maybe, can begin to compare. But when people around the nation might look at this Warrior Thunder matchup and pass because of all the “great” NBA matchups they watched earlier, Warrior fans can’t wait.
We here at 756 sports decided to write our first Warrior post for Warriors fans on one of the best days for regular season NBA Basketball because it truly represents everything we Warrior fans have to go through. Even though we know we should focus attention on something else and not pay so much attention to the Warriors, we do because we are loyal and have faith. Making the playoffs once in the last 17 years under the horrific Cohan years didn’t stop us from watching the Warriors. Latrell Sprewell being our last all-star hasn’t stopped us from watching. Adonal Foyle, Larry Hughes, Joe Smith, Vonteego Cummings, Mike Dunleavy, and Ike Diogu haven’t kept us from watching. We still watch because of WE BELIEVE. We still watch because we have the best fans in the nation. We still watch because on any given night we can score 120 points (or give up 120 points). We watch because we hope that Ekpe Udoh will reach his potential and become our savior. So fellow Warrior fans, this is an introduction to what you’ll be getting here at 756 sports. We love the Warriors just like you do. We understand and empathize with all of your trials and tribulations with our team. We know that you want Warrior game previews, recaps, player discussions, interviews, videos, and the latest rumors. We will be giving this to you on a daily basis, and we are real excited to have you as readers. So, without wasting any more time, let’s preview tonight’s matchup.
As Warrior fans know, we are capable of accomplishing anything at home. Coming off an embarrassing road loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Warriors are back in the Oracle, where we belong. The Warriors have not taken advantage of their latest home stand, where they were supposed to gain ground behind Portland at that coveted 8th and final playoff spot. At 4-4 in their last 8 home games, the Dubs are looking to capitalize at home to put a positive cap on their home stand, which by the end will have featured 18 of their last 22 games played at Home. This is a great game to be put on the National spotlight. Tonight’s game showcases some of the best young talent in the league. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Curry are names that will be featured and talked about for years to come in the NBA. There will be lots of scoring as usual, as the Thunder are 5th and the Warriors are 8th in the league in scoring respectively. For the Warriors to win this game were going to need a big night from Monta and great defense from Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright (That’s one R and two L’s ladies and gentlemen. It gets me every time). We simply cannot win when Monta has a terrible game. Monta’s going to have to do a lot better than 4-13 and 8 points like he did against the Suns. These are the key matchups that will decide the game tonight.
1) Stephen Curry vs. Russell Westbrook-
We all know how scary Westbrook is.
Blessed with some of the best talent and athleticism in the NBA, Westbrook has improved vastly in his first few years in the league. He 100% deserves his spot in the all-star game this year. Some people including myself think he has been more vital to the Thunder’s success this year than Durant has. Curry is going to have to do his best to contain him tonight. Although he’s going to have a tough time guarding him, Curry will have to use his quick hands and every bit of his basketball IQ to slow him down. When Westbrook is on, it’s tough to beat the Thunder. I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed with Curry’s play this year. I expected greatness after seeing flashes of what he could do late last year. I feel that Keith Smart does not use him as well as Don Nelson did last year. That being said, Curry is going to need to figure it out and have a big game offensively, whether that means a lot of scoring or better passing. Let’s see a better assist to turnover ratio tonight Steph!
2) Dorell Wright vs. Kevin Durant-
We all know that scoring leader Kevin Durant is going to get his. Whether it be from the outside, inside, or his Corey Maggette like ability to get to the free-throw line, Durantula is the real deal. However, Dorell needs to make him work for every shot and get him frustrated. Against the Warriors, 40 for Durant is seemingly possible. Dorell needs to play tough defense, and do his usual 3pt sharpshooting at the other end. I have a feeling that he is going to show the nation why he was chosen to be in the 3pt contest this yr tonight.
Tonight’s game is going to be fun to watch. There’s going to be lots of scoring and great guard play. However, this is one of the few times the Warriors have the advantage up front. We need to establish Dlee early and often and get good production from Biedrins/Udoh. Nick Collison, Kristic, and Ibaka is not scary. I’m looking for a rebound performance from Monta, with Monta and Durant scoring at will. Monta ends up with 35, and the Warriors will win a close game by four points. Have a great night watching the game tonight Warrior fans. Welcome to 756 sports.