If the Wizards want to have a shot against the Warriors, they'll need to outplay players who selected after them in recent drafts.
Through most of the last decade, the Warriors have been a step ahead of the Wizards. When the Wizards were enjoying their best days of the Arenas era, the Warriors were riding just a bit higher with Baron Davis. When thing went downhill, the Warriors were still able to maintain more respectability than the Wizards.
As a result, the Warriors have drafted behind the Wizards more years than not. Yet, when you take a look at who the Warriors are starting, it's hard not to covet who the Warriors have taken, after the Wizards made their own picks.
PF: Granted, the Warriors didn't select David Lee, but the Wizards would have had a chance to take him before the Knicks snagged him with the 30th overall pick if the Wizards hadn't traded their first round pick that year to acquire Brendan Haywood.
C: I won't try and convince you that the Wizards should have taken Festus Ezeli ahead of Bradley Beal in this year's draft, but hindsight mighy say it would have been worth trading up a few spots to get him rather than take Tomas Satoransky two spots later.
Charles Jenkins: With Shelvin Mack tearing it up with the Maine Red Claws, think it's safe to say Jenkins would have been a better pick second round pick in the 2011 Draft.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with our preview.
Where, When, and What Channel: The game will start at 7:00 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch it on Comcast SportsNet.
Why You Should Care: Because the Warriors and Wizards have been on similar franchise paths for the last two decades on opposite coasts. After some successful runs in the mid-2000's, both teams have been forced into full rebuild mode with new owners and new coaches. Tonight, the Wizards can evaluate the status of the rebuild against another team that has gone through similar circumstances.
What They Do Well: Even with Andrew Bogut on the shelf, the Warriors are still one of the best rebounding teams in the league. The Warriors don't have anyone in the top 25 in rebounding rate, but Lee, Ezeli, Landry, Andris Biedrins and Draymond Green as a team get the job done at an exceptional rate.
What They Do Poorly: Only two teams in the NBA (Pacers and Thunder) have a worse turnover differential than the Warriors. As solid of a player as Stephen Curry is, he isn't exceptional at handling the ball. Lee and Landry also have aren't great at protecting the ball. While I'd hesitate before calling any of those players turnover prone, there isn't a primary scorer on the team that's really great at protecting it either, other than Klay Thompson.
On the other side of the ball, they don't force many turnovers either. They're average defensively because they do a good job of being in the right position, but they won't create lots of fastbreak opportunities off of turnovers.
How the Wizards Match Up With Them: The Warriors will be playing their third game in four nights as part of their seven game Eastern swing. That should slow the Warriors down, which plays into the Wizards' favor. The Warriors' struggles with winning the turnover battle should play into the Wizards hands as well. But other than that, the Warriors should hold the advantage most everywhere else. While I'm not expecting a blowout, the Warriors should still have enough to get by against the Wizards.
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