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Open thread: Regular season game 11

The essentials:
Warriors (3-7) at Wizards (6-5)
7 p.m.
Verizon Center

Last year:
March 4: Wizards 107, Warriors 106.
March 23: Warriors 135, Wizards 128.

Notable Warriors numbers this season (pound the salt):
19th in expected winning percentage (.392).
3rd in pace factor (97.3 possessions per game).
12th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (109.4).
27th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (112.5).

Notable Warriors numbers last season
14th in expected winning percentage (.506).
1st in pace factor (97.6 posessions per game).
10th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (109).
17th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108.9).

Key links
Golden State of Mind.
Fear the Beard.
Ian Thomason features Andray Blatche.
GSOM blog preview.
Competition Discussion: Golden State.

Starting lineups:
PG: Baron Davis
SG: Kelenna Azibuke
SF: Stephen Jackson
PF: Al Harrington
C: Andris Biedrins

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood (hopefully)

Tonight's lines:
Blazers at Wizards: Wizards by 2
Over/Under on total points: 210.

The last game against Charlotte was a test for the veterans on this team, and whether they could step up and be reliable options.  Tonight, I believe, is a test for Eddie Jordan, and whether he can be creative without Arenas.

Golden State is 3-7, but six of those losses came without Stephen Jackson, who has fit that team like peanut butter fits jelly.  They're getting great production out of Kelenna Azibuke, who's showing why we probably should have gone after him when he was a free agent.  Dude can really play.

But really, nothing's different about the Warriors.  They still play at a blistering pace, and use Baron Davis exclusively to break down the defense and create open looks for others.  I'm frankly petrified at the prospect of AD guarding Davis...that's just going to be a disaster.  

Golden State is still small on the inside, though, and if you pound the glass on them, you'll be successful.  That's why this is a big game for Eddie Jordan.  He cannot, under any circumstances, let Golden State dictate the type of team he puts into the game.  Haywood needs to play solid minutes, and we should never try to go small to match Golden State's offense.  Instead, stay big, keep Haywood and Blatche in at all times, and be patient.  They have nobody who can guard Caron Butler (don't give me Jackson, he's an overrated defender), and they have nobody to keep Antawn off the offensive glass.  Use your strengths, don't match theirs.

If Eddie can do this, then it's clear he's progressed as a coach.  So far, he's done a great job of not harnessing our defense by needlessly playing small.  Tonight, though, is his greatest test in that regard.  Let's hope he passes it.

This is an open game thread, so harass Don Nelson into a technical foul here.


Update [2007-11-23 18:19:30 by Pradamaster]: Haywood's playing. Nice. All the more reason why this is a big test for Eddie.