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Game 22 Preview: Warriors at Blazers

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A Look at the Warriors

After a gruesome 0-6 start to the season the Warriors have rebounded to go 12-3 in their last 15 to end up at 12-9 overall.  As everyone knows Golden State is dangerous because they score :::placing crooked pinky finger in the corner of mouth::: ONE MILLION POINTS per game.  What?  Why are you laughing?  One million points is nothing in the modern NBA?  OK, my bad.  Ahem.  ONE BILLION POINTS per game.  They average more possessions than Linda Blair and more shots than the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.  And yes, I am using all of these pop culture references to avoid getting to the fact that we're going to get creamed tonight.  You know those monsters in Star Trek that just eat your phaser fire, laugh, and then grow bigger?  That's what the Warriors are going to do with our jump shots.  They let you shoot 46%.  They don't care.  They let you take 18 three-pointers a game and average 38%.  They take 27.  Opponents outrebound them by 5 per game.  Their two volume shooters hoist a crappy percentage.  It's hard to find a real defender in the bunch.  It doesn't matter.  It defies logic.  Whatcha gonna do, Brother?  You hit them with your best punch, hit them again, hit them again, and they just start trembling, shaking their heads back and forth while you whack them.  Then they get up, hit the big boot, drop the leg, and it's over.

The real problem for the Blazers is that while Deron Williams last night was young and good, and thus allowed himself to get taken out of the game, Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson are old and good and have seen this kind of thing before.  They both like their stats too, and are probably salivating at the chance to dice them some Blazer guard.  Joel Przybilla, our only credible big defender with Lamarcus out, is going to be hard pressed to keep up and keep out of foul trouble.  Nate's usual M.O. in Joel's absence is to go small, but going small against the Warriors is like challenging Oregonian Beat Writer Jason Quick to a Riverdance-off.  You're going to get served like a snail in Paris.

Nevertheless this should be a fun game to watch if both teams come out guns a-blazin'.  I am interested to see how the suddenly streaking Blazers fare.

What I'd Like to See

  1.  Despite the array of talent, the keys to this team right now are Davis and Jackson.  Hold one or both in check and you have a chance.  In the Blazers' case they better pick one.  I don't see how they're going to accomplish it.  Maybe gang-tackling.
  2.  Please drive on this team a little.  They're not really invested in stopping you.  Even if you can hang tight getting cheap buckets and make it come down to the last five minutes that's better than getting blown out by the second quarter.  The way to do that is get inside and get cheap buckets and fouls.
  3.  That said, you also have to get back.  Showing weakness in transition is like entering the cheetah cage wearing a wounded antelope coat.
  4.  If we're to win, this will be Brandon Roy's game more than anyone else's.  And I don't mean a triple-double either.  I mean, like, 50 points.  He'll need double-digit help from a lot of other guys too but he'll need to be the breakthrough player.
  5.  The Warriors are VERY opportunistic on defense.  Whoever brings the ball up better take care of it and we also better pass with care.  We won't recover from 10 steals and 20 points off of them.
  6.  If all else fails, pants them when they go to dunk.
--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)