Feb 24, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) celebrates gaining the lead late in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Warriors won 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors: Preview, Prediction and TV Listing

The Golden State Warriors are finally back home after a disastrous road trip that saw the team drop four consecutive games, and if they can’t knock off the visiting Toronto Raptors, it’ll officially be time to panic.

Kicking off a seven-game homestand, the Dubs are going to need to correct the issues that caused their disappointing streak—namely poor defense and a stagnant offense that relied far too heavily on point guard play to be effective. If the Warriors want to right the ship, they must get the ball moving, instead of counting on Jarrett Jack and Stephen Curry to create something on their own.

The talent is there to turn around what’s become an inconsistent offense, but defense is going to be a problem.

After residing in the league’s top 10 in terms of offensive efficiency for much of the season, the Dubs have plummeted of late. In recent weeks, Golden State has played at a bottom-five level on D. And with this year’s Sloan Conference’s most memorable moment being a gag reel of David Lee’s total lack of effort on defense, it might be time for guys to start taking the team’s failure to get stops personally.

The Raptors are no pushover, either. Essentially, they’re a .500 team with some young talent and plenty of athleticism. Expect Amir Johnson and DeMar Derozan, both pretty limited offensive players, to come out aggressively against a reeling Warriors defense. If they get some early looks around the basket, the Dubs could be in trouble.

WHO: Toronto Raptors (23-37) vs. Golden State Warriors (33-7)

WHERE: Oracle Arena

WHEN: Monday, 7:30 P.M. (PT), CSN Bay Area

AT STAKE: Avoiding a fifth consecutive loss and slipping into a virtual tie for the No. 8 playoff spot.

PLAYER TO WATCH: David Lee. Is he aware that he’s now the laughingstock of the advanced community because of his horrid defensive effort? Does he care? Does it matter if he cares? Questions abound.

PREDICTION: Golden State recognizes the significance of starting off their homestand on the right foot and comes out gunning. The defense will still be porous, but not so bad that it’ll prevent an end to the four-game skid. Warriors 108, Raptors 99.

Tags: 2012-13 Preview Golden State Warriors

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