Warriors Look to Regain Mojo Against Bulls: Game Preview

On Thursday night, the Warriors will take on the Chicago Bulls in the Bulls’ lone visit to Oracle Arena this season. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have played awful at home during this last stretch of games, which has drawn its fair share of criticism. They have lost five of their last seven games at home, and their most recent loss — a 91-75 dud against the Bobcats — may have been their most disappointing.

Fortunately Unfortunately, they play three of their final four games at home before the All-Star break. On Thursday night, the Warriors will take on the Chicago Bulls in the Bulls’ lone visit to Oracle Arena this season.

Like the Bobcats game, like the Wizards game, and like the Timberwolves game, the Warriors are the better team on paper and should win. But “should” and “on paper” are not guarantees, and they have learned that the hard way.

Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls do not have much of an offense, as they are 29th in the league in points per game. However, they are strong defensively, ranking second in points per game allowed (92.8). Their starting frontcourt of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are one of the most consistent in the league, so the Warriors will have to turn their offense up a notch if they want to avoid another abysmal performance.

Also, the Bulls are an extremely well-coached team by Tom Thibodeau, who seems to get the most out of his players each and every night. Even though they may not be the most talented team in the league, they play hard and play for each other. The Warriors seem to be in the opposite situation; they have some great talent, but are not putting in the energy necessary to win.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors:

  • Points per game: 103.0 (11th)
  • Field-goal percentage: 45.7% (9th)
  • Three-point percentage: 38.0% (3rd)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 43.4 percent (T-2nd)
  • Rebounds per game: 46.1 (2nd)
  • Turnovers: 16.0 (29th)
  • Bench scoring per game: 23.1 (29th)

Bobcats:

  • Points per game: 92.2 (29th)
  • Field-goal percentage: 42.2% (29th)
  • Three-point percentage: 33.5% (27th)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 43.4 (T-2nd)
  • Rebounds per game: 44.6 (T-9th)
  • Turnovers: 14.9 (T-25th)
  • Bench scoring per game: 27.2 (22nd)

History says…

History doesn’t tell us much about what the outcome of this game might be. The Warriors 11 of the last 14 games against the Bulls at home, yet the Bulls have won seven of the last 10 against the Warriors overall.

Speaking of history, the Bulls starting small forward is Mike Dunleavy, the third overall pick by the Warriors in the 2002 NBA Draft. By his draft position, Dunleavy was a bust, averaging 10.6 points in 336 games with the Warriors. Expect some boos at Oracle Arena for Dunleavy.

Quotable

Tonight’s game will be broadcast nationally on TNT, so here is Andre Iguodala on why that is a bad thing:

I hate (national) TV games. TV games can play tricks on you. You want to play at a high level every night, but you can kind of see how some guys may get up a little bit more for TV games, and that might mess with the flow. Guys want to show the world what they can do, and it should be more than that.

You should want to play well as a unit on national TV. When you have young guys, guys might shoot a couple of extra shots that they normally don’t shoot, so TV games are dangerous. They can be trick games.

Injury Report

GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain) are out. Ognjen Kuzmic is on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.

CHI: Derrick Rose (right knee) is out.

Probable Starters

GOLDEN STATE (29-20) 

  • F Andre Iguodala (9.6 PPG)
  • F David Lee (18.9 PPG)
  • C Andrew Bogut (8.2 PPG)
  • G Klay Thompson (18.5 PPG)
  • G Stephen Curry (24.3 PPG)

CHICAGO (24-24)

  • F Mike Dunleavy (11.1 PPG)
  • F Carlos Boozer (14.8 PPG)
  • C Joakim Noah (11.6 PPG)
  • G Jimmy Butler (12.4 PPG)
  • G Kirk Hinrich (7.8 PPG)

Game Info

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

TV: TNT

Topics: Golden State Warriors

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