Boston at Golden State
Local TV/Radio: CSN/WEEI
Boston: 109.4 points/100 possessions (7th)
Warriors: 105.4 points/100 possessions (19th)
Boston: 99.5 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Warriors: 110.4 points allowed/100 possessions (26th)
Probable GS starters:
Stephon Curry, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, with some combination of Anthony Morrow/Anthony Randolph and Vladmir Radmanovic/Andres Biedrins who is expected to play for first time in 26 games.
Thumbnail: The Celtics, try to bounce off a disappointing loss in LA on the 2nd night of a back to back against the run and gun Warriors
WHAT THE WARRIORS DO WELL:
* Shoot the ball efficiently The Warriors like to shoot the ball a ton, as evidenced by the pace they play and they do it fairly well, ranking 9th in the league in FG efficiency. Not exactly world beaters, but every player in their rotation is capable of putting up 10-15 points on any given night, minus say Ronny Turiaf. Their shooting prowess does not extend beyond the arc though as they are just an average 3 point shooting team (35.4 percent) from downtown.
* Force Turnovers. This one is a bit of the shocker given how porous the Warriors defense is but GS is the 2nd best team in the league forcing turnovers, just behind Milwaukee. Now this may be more of a byproduct of bad overall defense, where the Warriors like to go for the steal and get burned more often than not. The Knicks are another bad defensive team with similar characteristics. Given the C’s turnover problems though, this is something to look out for tonight as the C’s will need to be careful with the ball.
WHAT THE WARRIORS DO POORLY:
A lot of basketball fundamentals. I feel almost as if I am writing a book on the basics of basketball for this weaknesses section. Let’s have some fun with this.
* Defend Outside of that freak turnover stat, the Warriors are flat out terrible on the defensive end of the floor, chauffeuring their opponents to the hoop on a regular basis. They are worse in the league in opponent FG percentage, 30th again in eFG percentage. No matter what numbers you use, they flat out suck. If the C’s decide to move the ball offensively tonight, they should put on a fun little clinic for everyone. I look forward to it. Let’s move on.
* Rebounding. Another basic here that the Warriors are miserable at both ends of the floor, ranking dead last in BOTH offensive and defensive rebound percentage. This could be helped tonight a bit with the return of Biedrins from injury, but the C’s will once again be rewarded tonight early and often by hitting the glass. The Warriors don’t have the strength, size or desire to fight for the ball down low. Perk, Baby and company should have a field day.
* Take care of the ball. The Warriors and the C’s sit right next to each other near the very bottom of the league’s turnover percentage rankings. The Warriors once again are prone to making foolish errors with the ball.
So to summarize things, bad defense, no rebounding and turnover prone….ladies and gentlemen your 2009-10 Golden State Warriors!
PLAYER/S WHO MAKE ME WORRY:
* Monta Ellis. The undersized guard can score from anywhere on the floor, wreaking havoc scoring 27 points a game in his last 10 contests. Rondo will have his work cut out for him tonight in trying to contain him off the dribble.
* Corey Maggette. It will be interesting to see who Doc matches up with the 6-6 Maggette who has been on fire as of late. I hope TA draws the assignment but the absence of Pierce’s hurts here in trying to contain the bigger Maggette. I’m not a big fan of his game but he is shooting over 60 percent from the field in his last 10 games. That’s just incredibly impressive for a swingman like him.
PLAYER/S WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:
* Vladmir Radmanovic: The C’s shut him down no matter what uniform he is in and will happily do so again tonight. Take away the 3 ball from him and he’s a useless player as well as a bad defender.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM THE C’s TONIGHT:
* Rajon Rondo setting the tone. The Warriors play the fastest pace in the league and will no doubt look to get out and run, early and often. Rondo needs to be ready to step up to the plate and respond to the Warriors energy on the 2nd night of a back to back and beat them at their own game. The C’s have the talent to do it, even without Pierce, it will just be on Rondo to get the team moving.
This game scares me a lot, with a lot of red flags for the C’s. 2nd night of a back to back, young athletic team that likes to run, tough loss the night before, etc. Golden State has the potential to dictate the game by going small as they did Saturday night in a win over Phoenix at home when they played Anthony Randolph at center and Maggette at the 4. Will be interesting to see how Doc counters this with his aging big man core.
I expect a strong diet of TA, Big Baby and Eddie House tonight to counter these moves. Maybe even a sighting of the young guns (Walker/Giddens) to give the starters legs extra rest. Look for Doc to have his guys motivated and focused especially on the defensive end off of last night. No more 50 percent shooting nights for teams. As long as the ghosts of last night don’t haunt Rondo, I expect a W. Celtics 110, Warriors 99