Warriors Face Nets in New Arena: Game Preview


Dec 5, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson (second from left) talks to shooting guard Klay Thompson (11), power forward Andris Biedrins (15) and small forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace.The Warriors defeated the Pistons 104-97. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A new arena! How about that?

No one on the Warriors’ roster has stepped onto the Barclays Center to play a professional game of basketball. Ever since the Brooklyn change, the Nets have been 11-6, granting them one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. Lead by All-Stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the Warriors face one of their most challenging opponents on the road-trip, a trip where they can only afford to lose two, maybe three games.

Last time these two teams met, the Warriors won by double-digits in Oracle. This was a game where Klay Thompson broke out of that annoying slump. His back to back three pointers capped a huge Warrior run. Ever since then, Thompson has been shooting lights out. Against the Pistons, he had 19 points in the third quarter and was sizzling hot.

Thompson’s defense was also stellar, as he played Brandon Knight well and held him to just four points. If he can keep up his great defense, Mark Jackson should be able to trust him to guard Deron Williams. Last time, Williams was limited to just nine points while Thompson defended him.The Nets are 7-2 at home, an amazing record, but the last time these two teams met, the Warriors backcourt was able to notch 49 points, and Curry had a double-double.

If the Warriors win this tough matchup against the Nets, they will improve to 12-7, definitely something to be proud of. Early in the season, the Warriors have jumped ESPN’s power rankings and proved that even without their superstar center, they’re still a force to be reckoned with. Curry has found his shooting touch, developed bone in his ankles, and his court vision is beginning to show again. Thompson is shooting lights out and is looking like he will be the go-to guy. David Lee is grabbing monstrous rebounds, and still staying consistently at 17-20 ppg on offense. The big three has really helped the Warriors to win, and they all need to be at the top of their game to beat the Nets again.

Joe Johnson and Klay Thompson are two of the premier shooters in the NBA, and I personally would like to see Johnson have a better game. If he and Klay Thompson both get hot, the Warriors and the Nets will both see a lot of shots put up, and a lot of shots made. Both teams can score inside, both teams can rebound, both teams can shoot, and both teams, on most occasions can play defense. Stat-wise, these teams are equally matched, but the Nets just may have a little more in them. They do, in fact, have one of the best backcourts in the NBA, but the Warriors do too. This should be a good one.

Game Predictions:

Matchup to Watch: Klay Thompson vs. Joe Johnson

Scoring Leader: Brook Lopez, 24

Assist Leader: Stephen Curry, 12, Deron Williams, 12

Rebound Leader: Lee, 13

Winner: Nets by 7, but winnable for the Warriors

Warriors’ Projected Lineup:

1. Stephen Curry

2. Klay Thompson

3. Harrison Barnes

4. David Lee

5. Festus Ezeli

Nets’ Projected Lineup:

1. Deron Williams

2. Joe Johnson

3. Gerald Wallace

4. Kris Humphries

5. Brook Lopez