The Dubs travel to New Orleans Saturday to take on an in form Hornets outfit while star PG Stephen Curry remains listed as ‘day to day’ with an injured ankle. G.State coach Mark Jackson will be praying to the injury gods that his star point guard can return in what should prove to be a tough road match for the Jackson and co. The Warriors offence was lack-luster as they were punked by Miami in their first game without Curry on Wednesday night, scoring a season low 75 points and failed to fire again as they went down to the Spurs on Friday night 95-88.
The Hornets are 6-2 since getting their star guard, Eric Gordon, back from injury and while they are still the 2nd worst team in the Western standings, there is a clear improvement in their game since Gordon’s return. With big wins over the Spurs, Rockets and Celtics in the last 6 games, Gordon and his teammates are full of confidence heading into the 2nd half of the season. With Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Greivis Vasquez, who has been an excellent play maker this year, the Hornets offence looks promising, pair that with a defence anchored #1 draft pick Anthony Davis, and you have a starting 5 that can cause problems for most teams in the league.
A key matchup for the Hornets will be the rookie Davis going toe to toe with Warriors power forward and potential all star David Lee. Lee is averaging 19.8ppg and 10.8rpg and apart from a quiet game against the Heat, has been unstoppable on the offensive end of late, topping the 20 point mark in 19 of his last 23 games. If Davis can hone his defensive skills and corral Lee to a quiet game, it will be a big step to securing a W for the Hornets.
On the other end of the floor, stopping Eric Gordon will be the Warriors number one priority. With the ideal matchup in Brandon Rush out for the season, look for the rookie/sophomore tandem of Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson to share the minutes guarding Gordon, who missed his teams last game against the Celtics due to rest but has shown outstanding offensive prowess in games prior.
However, the number one factor in this game will no doubt be whether Curry can suit up for the Warriors or not. Back up PG Jarrett Jack is a valuable bench player, but is not as dangerous offensively as curry, who leads the Warriors this season with 20.5 points per game and 6.6 assists,. Curry was in career best form before going down with another ankle injury (I’ve lost count of what number this is) and if he starts against the Hornets, he might be a bit too much for Vasquez to handle.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (23-15) @. New Orleans (13-26).
WHERE: New Orleans Arena
WHEN: Saturday, January 19, 8:00 PM ET
AT STAKE: Warriors trying to halt their longest losing streak this season (3 games).
PLAYER TO WATCH: Stephen Curry, currently listed as day-to-day and has missed the Warriors last 2 games.
PREDICTION: I think the Dubs might have too much firepower. 3 ball must be falling for Thompson, Barnes, Jack and co. Warriors should get it done on the road with or without Curry, the margin could be drastically different in either scenario, however.