You can't blame the Washington Wizards if they seem a little off tonight. After a jaw-dropping victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles, it's got to be difficult to move on and focus on a team that Washington doesn't have much of a rivalry with. Washington doesn't hate Golden State, no one on the Wizards has any kind of notable rivalry or history with anyone on the Warriors, and, frankly, it's harder to get worked up to face Stephen Curry and David Lee after going 48 minutes with four future Hall of Famers. That said, a game's a game, and Washington can always use another win.
Where and when? The game is at 10:30 p.m. in Oakland, and it'll be on CSN.
Are they good? Sometimes. The Warriors got off to a great start this year, peaking in December when they posted the NBA's fourth best point differential and looked like a 50-win team. Then, despite (or possibly because of - more on that later) the return of Andrew Bogut in January, they stopped playing defense. They've begun to turn things around in March and, with a 39-31 record, are still likely to make the playoffs.
Why should I care? Both teams are fun to watch, Washington even moreso when they're playing at a level that we've all been waiting a good five years or so to see them reach.
What are they good at? Golden State shoots 40 percent from behind the arc ... as a team. That's good for first in the NBA and is helped by the underrated pick and roll play of Curry and Lee. The latter is a capable passer whose dives frequently lead to spot up opportunities for Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.
What are they bad at? Turnovers, both committing and forcing them. Golden State is 24th in the NBA in turnover percentage while forcing miscues on only 12.4 percent of opponents' possessions, good for 28th in the NBA. Coach Mark Jackson is pretty old school and discourages his players from gambling, while none of Golden State's starters other than Barnes could be described as anything more than an average athlete. Despite the steady ball handling of the team's starters, the Golden State bench is laughably bad at taking care of the basketball, with Draymond Green, Andris Biedrins and Festus "Biscuits and Gravy" Ezeli the worst offenders.
What's the deal with Andrew Bogut? Bogut hasn't played much in the last few years. When he has, though, he's been a monstrous defensive player, almost comparable to Tim Duncan in terms of his ability to combine his size, strength and length with an excellent understanding of defensive positioning. As Bogut's gotten his timing back since returning in late January, the team's defense as a whole has begun to improve. According to NBA.com/stats, the Warriors defense has been the second best in the NBA in March after being its second worst in February. Bogut's return to form probably has something to do with that.
Where else can I read about the Warriors? Check out the brilliantly-named Golden State of Mind.
What are your predictions for tonight's game? Sound off in the comments and vote in our poll!