Opponent Scouting: Golden State Warriors. (20-6)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be hosting the Golden State Warriors at the LCA. The Pistons are on one day of rest after losing to the Bucks on Wednesday, as are the Warriors after beating the Hornets.
The Warriors are pretty good I think. Good news for the Pistons is that they will be without Steph Curry tonight who is out with an injured ankle, while Draymond Green sat out their last game he is expected to play tonight. Without Steph Curry they are unquestionably lead by Kevin Durant who is one of the greatest scorers of all time. Klay Thompson is possibly the greatest catch and shoot off ball player ever to live, Draymond Green is a great ball handler and passer at the 4 spot. And by the way, all three of those guys are some of the best defenders at their respective positions in the entire NBA.
Beyond their big 3 tonight, it gets a bit thin but they have several guys who can play. Andre Igoudala can defend and handle the ball, Nick Young can freaking shoot, Shaun Livingston is a long defender who can post up smaller guys and pass, David West is tough, Zaza Pachulia isn't all that good but he can do basic big guy stuff with some competency, Jordan Bell is a great athlete and can defend. I don't know a thing about the guy who started their last game at point guard, Quinn Cook.
With one of their big 4 out, they become mortal so to speak. Even though they have lost some games this year, everyone knows that this team is capable of destroying everyone if they just put their minds to it, without Steph (or one of the other 4 quite frankly) they fall from "Almost certainly the best team ever to be on the floor" to "Best team in the NBA but by a normal year to year standard."
Matchups to watch:
- Pistons vs. Durant: He is a problem for every team. Stanley Johnson is as stout a defender as they come, but the problem is that he is not tall enough to keep Durant from just shooting over him. Regardless, if Stanley can do a decent job of making Durant take contested jumpers then there is a chance he won't just slaughter the Pistons.
- Warriors vs. Drummond: Andre Drummond is a problem for the Warriors. He is almost comically better than any of their bigs, and he is fast enough to hang with their small ball lineups. If the Pistons win it will likely be largely on the back of Drummond playing a great game, if the Warriors can contain him then the Pistons will be in trouble.
- Reggie Jackson vs. Getting some buckets: Without Steph Curry around the Warriors point guard lineup is suddenly a bit thin. Reggie Jackson will need to take full advantage of the fact that he will be one of the only guys without a difficult defensive matchup the entire night and get it back on the other end.
- Bench mob vs. Getting right: The Warriors bench is very good, and they have adjusted their starting lineup is such a way that they have kept their bench mob largely in tact despite the Curry injury. The Pistons bench is also good but has been off the last few games. They need to get right tonight.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
- Andre Drummond has a double double at half time.
- Reggie Jackson is too good for this Quinn Cook fellow.
- The Warriors don't look all that interested.
Run for the hills if:
- Kevin Durant and/or Klay Thompson start nailing every jump shot they take even if it is contested well.
- The Pistons keep struggling from deep.
- Draymond Green demolishes Tobias Harris.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
- Andre Drummond has another big game.
- Kevin Durant scores like, a lot of points.
- The Pistons bench gets right.
- The Pistons win a nail biter as this time the Warriors get screwed by a bad call at the end of the game because I want to believe that the universe is a good and fair place.
- Pistons 108 - Warriors 107.
What do you think? Can they contain Durant? Can Andre get it done?