After suffering back-to-back road losses against two of the NBA’s elite teams, the Warriors will close out their five-game road trip on Wednesday against Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets. The first of three-games this season between these two teams will tip off at 5 p.m. and be broadcast on CSN Bay Area (HD) and KNBR 1050.
The Warriors will head into Wednesday’s road trip finale looking to put together four solid quarters of basketball. In both Saturday’s loss in Miami and Monday’s defeat in Orlando, Golden State played some of its best basketball of the season in the first half but struggled over the last 24 minutes. Whether it’s fatigue setting in or not making the proper adjustments, the Warriors need to correct this problem soon, and the team is certainly aware of that.
“We can compete with the better teams in the league,” Dorell Wright said following Monday’s game. “We just need to play a full 48-minute game. It doesn’t do us any good to play one half and come out sluggish in the second half.”
Playing without their two starting big men certainly contributed to the team’s second-half demise on Monday. David Lee suffered a bruised lower back when taking a hard fall on Saturday and missed Monday’s game. Andris Biedrins, meanwhile, has missed nine-straight games with a sprained left ankle. However, both of the frontline starters were full participants in practice on Tuesday, and both are expected to play on Wednesday. The Warriors are 6-6 this season when starting their Opening Day lineup of Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright, Lee and Biedrins, and now that Ekpe Udoh, Brandan Wright and Lou Amundson are healthy, the team will finally have some depth in the front court.
Trying to take advantage of the Warriors before they return to full health will be a Hornets team that has been quite streaky this season. New Orleans started the 2010-11 campaign 11-1 but has since gone 10-13. The Hornets, however, have won three-straight, including an impressive New Year’s Davy victory in Boston. As has been the case in recent seasons, stopping the Hornets will require the Warriors to slow down Chris Paul (16.5 ppg, 9.7 apg) and David West (18.6 ppg). Should the Warriors be able to do that, they will have a good shot at finishing their five-game road trip with a 2-3 record.
Following Wednesday's game in New Orleans, the Warriors will return home to host the Cavaliers on Friday in a Family And Friends contest. Golden State will then visit the Clippers on Sunday before opening a five-game homestand against the Lakers on Wednesday, January 12. From there, the Warriors will host the Clippers (Jan. 14), Nets (Jan. 17), Pacers (Jan. 19) and Kings (Jan. 21).
With All-Star balloting under way, we figured now would be a good time to go over the All-Star credentials of some of the Warriors. Read the most recent warriors.com blog entry and see why Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andris Biedrins are worthy of your All-Star consideration.
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