Regular Season Game 67
Wizards (37-29) at Warriors (32-37)
Previous Results: Wizards 107, Warriors 106
Game three of this five game road trip brings us to the Bay Area, home of one of the league's most exciting teams.
With all due respect to the Clippers, no team's fan base has suffered more over the years than these Warriors. It's one thing to be consistently awful like the Clippers, but Golden State has been consistently mediocre. During their thirteen year playoff drought, they have only had a top three pick twice (1995 and 2002). Who did they pick those years? Joe Smith and Mike Dunleavy. There's also been a ton of roster mismanagement, coaching incompetence, and plain bad luck (they could only offer Arenas the mid-level exception, a rule that has since changed).
Coming into this year, they went old-school, bringing back the coach that last brought them back to the playoffs thirteen years ago. It's been a strange season for Don Nelson. After declaring his team dead three weeks ago, the Warriors have vaulted right back into the playoff race, and are now competing with the Clippers (how ironic!) for the last spot in the West.
As much as one would think Nelson's reverse psychology provided the perfect motivation for this resurgence, the reality is that Golden State is playing well because they are all finally healthy together. Baron Davis and Jason Richardson have both been injured at different points, but they're both healthy and playing well. There was also the blockbuster with Indiana, which netted the Warriors Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington, both of which have helped. But for a team that has been through so many lineup combinations, it's incredibly important to just have everyone there at the same time.
This should be a high-scoring game. Both teams are in the top five in pace factor, and neither team is very good defensively. In the last game, the Wizards were lucky to win on that strange technical on Nelson. Golden State is traditionally a really poor rebounding team, but they outrebounded the Wizards in that one. Considering the Wizards were killed by Seattle on the glass the other night, that doesn't bode well. Add in the revenge factor and the playoff push factor, and it's safe to say the Wizards are going to need to avoid those losses of concentration tonight.
Warriors blogs: Golden State of Mind is spectacular, but you probably won't find that many people there today, because they're all going to be at the game. Someday, when this community grows to be as large as theirs, it would be sweet to pull something like that off. Kudos to them for setting that up.
Your lines for tonight:
Wizards at Warriors: Warriors by 5.
Over/Under on Big 2: 48.8 points.
This is an open game thread, so anytime Don Nelson gets angry, make fun of him by reminding him of what happened last time these two teams played.