James Harden is really balling out in KD’s absence, which is nice, and the Warriors will be without Draymond Green, but the Warriors are 23-4 this year at home.
Lucky for the Nets they play much better on the road than they do at home.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (29-19) at Golden State Warriors (36-13)
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. EST
WHERE: ABC (national), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)
Having Nic Claxton back for this one will be huge for the Nets. Brooklyn got burned time after time defending the Warriors in pick and roll coverage the first matchup, and LaMarcus Aldridge playing in drop coverage is an invitation for a beatdown. With Clax, he can switch onto Warriors guards on the perimeter and handle the assignment. Clax should also help on the boards, a battle the Nets lost by 15 in the first meeting against the Warriors.
For a title contending team, the Warriors are surprisingly sloppy with the ball. They are 29th in turnover rate and 21st in opponent’s points off of turnovers. The Nets will have opportunities to cash in on the fastbreak, but will have to be extra, extra careful in taking care of the ball. If they get sloppy, the Warriors can go on a run that will knock them out.
Both squads’ kids will get some run tonight. On the BK side, Cam Thomas provided some scoring punch and gives Brooklyn another player that can attack downhill and get their own shot. Kessler Edwards will start again and his 39 percent from three point range has helped open things up for the Nets offense. For G-State, Jonathan Kuminga has been a revelation as his energy and athleticism have sparked the Warriors off the bench. With superstars on both teams, the youngsters will get an early taste of intense playoff competition this spring, which will do wonders for their own future development.
For more on the Warriors, check out Golden State of Mind.