Opening Statements: Wizards vs Warriors, Game 47 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Opening Statements: Wizards vs Warriors, Game 47

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Updated: February 3, 2016

Washington Wizards vs Golden State Warriors - Dec. 8, 2012 - Truth About It.net


Teams: Wizards vs Warriors
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Verizon Center, Chinatown, Washington, D.C.
Television: ESPN/CSN
Radio: WNEW-FM 99.1
Spread: Warriors fav’d by 10.5 points.


Q: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an object that is not only movable, but also actually accelerates items that cross its path?

A: We’ll find out on tonight, but a safe, conservative guess is 120 points on the Verizon Center court for a Golden State Warriors team that will surely win as though they are playing at home with all the support they will probably find themselves receiving.

Remember the last time the Wizards and Warriors met? No? Really? Well, here’s a reminder. If you’re really pressed for time, let me just snag an image from that post and, one moment … ahh … there it is.

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There we go. Here come those memories. We were this close to witnessing an entire quarter of Wizards basketball without a field goal, until that selfish son of a gun Kevin Seraphin just had to (barely) coax a stupid hook shot in with barely a minute remaining. In retrospect, it’s most definitely why the Wizards opted to let him walk in the offseason.

We won’t drag this one out more than necessary, because it’s somewhat predetermined: The Warriors will come to D.C., the crowd will ooh and ahh at everything Steph Curry does, the Wizards will be pissed off and likely keep the game close for awhile, then Golden State will go on a huge run and win by 20 or so. Naturally, because I have now etched it forever into the internet, something totally unexpected will happen.

As you perhaps have heard, the Warriors are an above-average basketballing group. They’re on pace for a cool 75 wins this season, and they’ve won 111 of their past 130 games (.854). And just because they can, they’re now supposedly the frontrunners to snatch Kevin Durant from the desperately clenched grip of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the blindly flailing arms of the Wizards. Harrison Barnes is fine and all, but Kevin Durant and the Warriors just has a nice ring to it.

Washington, meanwhile, is on pace for 38 wins, roughly the standard of participation trophy in the NBA. As Durant chooses which pen to sign his Warriors contract with in five months or so, the Wizards will more than likely be prepping for another season of Ernie Grunfeld, Randy Wittman, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, 35-45 wins, and a whole lot of “Hey do the Wizards play tonight? Yeah, I think so. Wanna watch the game? Nah, I think I’m just gonna catch some ‘Castle’ reruns and call it a night. Oh nice, what channel is ‘Castle on?’ “ But hey, Washington will have a whole bunch of cap space to throw around, so look forward to a multiyear, 8-digit-per-year deal for an aging big man!

Alright, to this game. The key will be to stop Curry. And Klay Thompson, too. And if you could keep Draymond Green out of triple-double territory, that would be swell. Yes, the Warriors nearly lost to Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers last week, but I’m of the belief that will actually help Golden State. They nearly fell victim to a trap game against a team that’s improved much in recent weeks, one that would have been mildly embarrassing and really put a damper on the Warriors’ quest to top 72 wins; I don’t see it happening twice in a month, much less in a handful of games.

How one beats the Warriors (1) is a combination of ball movement, relentless defense, keeping them out of rhythm, and a stupid amount of luck. The Cleveland Cavaliers had some success against them in the Finals last year, thanks mostly to the latter two strategies. Washington will have difficulty slowing to the pace Cleveland did—the John Wall effect, if you will—and luck is rarely on the Wizards’ side. Ball movement isn’t exactly a strength of the Wizards’, and ‘LOL’ at relentless defense from this bunch.

Really, Washington should just get weird with this game. Throw out a starting lineup of John Wall, Gary Neal (unless Bradley Beal is starting again), Garrett Temple, Kelly Oubre, and Otto Porter. If the Warriors beat you by feeding the ball down low to Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli all night, so be it. It’s got to be better for your psyche than watching Curry throw in a half-dozen 40-footers as your defense threatens to give up 100 by the end of the third quarter (again).

I’ll go ahead and save you the five seconds needed to find this.

Instead of a Q&A today, I’m just going to punt and vomit a slew of incredible Warriors stats onto the page. Because when it comes to this Golden State team, it’s kind of like fine art: You can analyze all you want, pick apart every last detail of what makes them so excellent, but that’s doing it wrong. Just sit back and enjoy it. Let glory wash over you like an exquisitely timed ray of sunshine in the midst of the barren, otherwise unforgiving winter.

  • The last time the Wizards and Warriors played, in the game that featured the third-quarter collapse, Golden State shot just .411 from the field and won by 31.
  • The Warriors have surged forward to tie the San Antonio Spurs in Net Rating this season with a blink-worthy plus-14.1. The Thunder are third at plus-8.7. The Cleveland Cavaliers are fourth at plus-5.9. The Wizards are 22nd at minus-2.6.
  • Golden State’s Offensive Rating is 113.0, while no other team is even at 110.0. Washington’s Defensive Rating is a tepid 105.0.
  • Despite often utilizing a small lineup, the Warriors grab 51.9 percent of all rebounds, the fifth-best mark in the league. The Wizards sometimes use two traditional big men, yet grab just 47.5 percent of rebounds, the second-worst mark.
  • The Warriors hold opponents to a league-worst .467 eFG%. The Wizards allow opponents to put up the league’s second-best eFG% at .525. What’s more, the Warriors’ eFG% is .565, easily the best in the NBA.
  • Golden State (20.5 per game) and Washington (18.6) are the league’s top two teams in fast-break points, so at least the game might be entertaining for a bit? The Warriors also allow the league’s seventh-most fast-break points (14.4 per game) while the Wizards allow 12.2 per game, the 16th-most.
  • Golden’s State’s ball movement is unreal; 63.0 percent of their 2-pointers are assisted, easily the most in the league, and it’s tops in the league in percentage of total field goals assisted, at 68.9 percent. That number would be higher, but Curry and Thompson just casually pull up for 3s whenever they want, so their assist percentage on 3s is relatively low.
  • Speaking of casual 3-pointers, the Warriors shoot .439 from 25-to-29 feet as a team. That’s not only the best number in the league, by a lot, but also goddamn ridiculous. The next best mark is .376, by the Utah Jazz. The Wizards are a respectable seventh in the NBA in those shots, at .364. In fact, all but three teams in the league shoot between 30 and 38 percent on those shots: the Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves (.275), and the Miami Heat (.266). Even crazier, the Warriors shoot the most of these shots per game, not that that’s even remotely surprising. Golden State launches 15.9 shots per game from this range, and it makes 7.0. Ready for this? Only one other team in the NBA makes even 5.0 from that range per game: the Charlotte Hornets, at 5.1 per game, and they do it on .325 shooting.
  • Did I mention their starting lineup next season could very well be Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and [quite literally, anybody in the NBA]?

  1. I think, at least. If I knew how to beat the Golden State Warriors, I’d be making far more money that I am, and I’d be on your televisions frequently.
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Bryan Frantz
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Bryan is a D.C. native with a degree in something or other from UNC. He has important, interesting hobbies, but mostly he just weeps over D.C. sports teams. You can find him on the Metro, inevitably complaining about Red Line delays.