The last two games of the road trip for the Warriors are perhaps the easiest, but perhaps the toughest.
By saying that, I mean that they can look forward to a warm welcome from their home crowd against the Hornets, but on the negative side, the Warriors must face the Magic: a team that has already beaten them, and the Hawks, who are in competition with the Heat for the division title. Both teams are better than their record says, and these last two games of the road trip will possibly be the highest hurtles.
Last time at Oracle, the Warriors were looking to sweep a four game homestand and win four in a row. JJ Reddick, Glen Davis, and the Magic had something to say about that. They pounded the Warriors on the glass, owned the 4th quarter, and beat the Warriors at their own game. The Warriors, however, haven’t lost since then. Now, having won five games in a row, on the road, they look very intimidating coming into Orlando.
The Warriors key to the game is to own the boards. Last time, Glen Davis had 24 points, and 6 rebounds, while Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Those numbers killed the Warriors, and on any given night this season, that wouldn’t happen. They need to put Festus Ezeli in for extended minutes, so he can get his rebounds, and properly defend some of the Magic bigs. I know Glen Davis’ nickname is Big Baby, but he’s not a Big Baby.
Another key to the game is shutting out Aaron Afflalo, who had 24 points last time, as opposed to Klay Thompson’s eight. Now that Klay is coming off a great road trip where he has averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds per game, he will be better on Affalo. His good defense will be enough to stop Aflalo, as it was enough to stop the LeBron James down the stretch in Miami.The Warriors’ aim is obviously to go 7-0 on the roadtrip, but they’re so far ahead of the 6th seed in the West that it won’t matter that much. Of course, a seven game winning streak on the road is nice.
Matchup to Watch: David Lee vs Glen Davis
Players to Watch: JJ Reddick, Klay Thompson, Arron Afflalo
Leading Scorer: Klay Thompson, 25, 6 reboudns
Winner: Warriors by 10 or a little bit less
1. Jameer Nelson vs Stephen Curry
2. Arron Afflalo vs Klay Thompson
3. Moe Harkless vs Harrison Barnes
4. Glen Davis vs David Lee
5. Nikola Vucevic vs Festus Ezeli