December 28, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Kwame Brown (54) grabs a rebound against Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the third quarter at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the 76ers 96-89. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors Take On Struggling Sixers: Game Preview

Considering their consistency and tendency to play down to their opponents, the Golden State Warriors know better than to expect a victory to be handed to them Monday night.

Even if their opponents are the Philadelphia 76ers, losers of nine of their last 10 games, and 12 of their last 14. And in case you haven’t heard, they lost by 45 points to the Clippers last night. 

So the 76ers are not only struggling big-time and extremely lacking in confidence, but they are also fatigued, playing the back-end of a back-to-back.

Still, the Warriors cannot take a win for granted, as they have dropped recent home games to inferior teams in the Wizards, Timberwolves, and Nuggets. And it’s not as if the 76ers will just lie down and accept the loss. They have a rookie sensation in Michael Carter-Williams, and proven scorers in Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner.

There are two games left before the All-Star break for the Warriors, who probably need the week off to rest up and start the stretch run of the season fresh. However, it’s not hard to look ahead and see that Wednesday night’s game will be against the defending NBA champions Miami Heat.

The ball is in the Warriors’ court tonight: will they take care of business like they should against a weaker team, or will they come out flat, be distracted by the Heat game and the upcoming break, and fall to the lowly 76ers?

For the sake of sanity, let’s hope it’s the former.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors:

  • Points per game: 103.1 (11th)
  • Field-goal percentage: 45..8% (9th)
  • Three-point percentage: 38.1% (T-3rd)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 43.6 percent (4th)
  • Rebounds per game: 45.7 (3rd)
  • Turnovers: 15.8 (29th)
  • Bench scoring per game: 23.4 (29th)

Sixers:

  • Points per game: 101.1 (T-14)
  • Field-goal percentage: 44.0% (22nd)
  • Three-point percentage: 32.1% (29th)
  • Defensive field-goal percentage: 46.2% (25th)
  • Rebounds per game: 44.7 (T-8th)
  • Turnovers: 17.2 (30th)
  • Bench scoring per game: 27.9 (21st)

History Says

– The Warriors are 141-165 in their history against the Sixers, and 77-55 at home.

– Andre Iguodala is due for a big game. In the Warriors’ only game against the Sixers this season, he scored a season-high 32 points and was on fire from beyond-the-arc. However, he has failed to even come close to that kind of offensive production in recent games. Averaging just 9.6 points per game this season, it would be nice to see Iguodala step up against his former team.

– History itself will be celebrated tonight, as fans at Oracle Arena will receive a Wilt Chamberlain bobblehead. The Warriors entered the basketball world as the Philadelphia Warriors before moving to the bay in 1962, and Chamberlain spent his first five seasons with the franchise.

Injury Report

GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery), David Lee (left shoulder sprain/left hip strain) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out. Andrew Bogut (left shoulder inflammation) is questionable.

PHI:Brandon Davies (Fractured Right Small Finger) and Nerlens Noel (Left Knee Injury) are out. Arnett Moultrie has been assigned to the D-League.

Probable Starters

GOLDEN STATE (30-21) 

  • F Andre Iguodala (9.6 PPG)
  • F Draymond Green (5.0 PPG)
  • C Andrew Bogut* (8.2 PPG) / Jermaine O’Neal (6.5 PPG)
  • G Klay Thompson (18.6 PPG)
  • G Stephen Curry (24.6 PPG)

*Bogut is questionable

PHILADELPHIA (15-37)

  • F Thaddeus Young (17.2 PPG)
  • F Evan Turner (17.8 PPG)
  • C Spencer Hawes (13.6 PPG)
  • G Michael Carter-Williams (17.0 PPG)
  • G James Anderson (10.1 PPG)

Game Info

Tip-Off: 7:30 PST

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

TV: LOCAL

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Tags: Golden State Warriors

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