Warriors Edge Kings, 95-86, Behind Second Strong Defensive Effort

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Preseason: Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors, 7pm PST

After a 40 point blow out of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Warriors hope to continue their preseason success at the Oracle Arena tonight versus their northern California rival, the Sacramento Kings.  

The Kings are stockpiled with talent at the wing positions with Omri Casspi, Carl Landry, Donte Green, Jason Thompson, and Francisco Garcia jocking for minutes with pressure from training camp invitees Antoine Wright and Marcus Landry.  And while several of these player can play multiple positions, sliding over to the guard position or playing both forward spots, this looks like one of the more challenging position battles in the NBA. 

And while centers Hassan Whiteside and Samuel Dalembert are out with injuries tonight, this should mean that there will be a lot more DeMarcus Cousins (16 points and 16 rebounds versus the Phoenix Suns) for Warriors big men to handle.

The Warriors struggled to contain Blake Griffin, who according to Bay Area News Group Warriors beat-writer Marcus Thompson, dismantled David Lee to the tune of 23 points and 9 boards in a mere 24 minutes. 

But the Warriors still got the win with a balanced attack from guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, which showed them co-existing harmoniously on opening night. From his first game, Dorell Wright looks to be the do-all small-forward that coach Keith Smart wanted and his stats from this first game may have raised from eyebrows in fantasy basketball leagues.  

The balanced offensive attack and added defensive priorities that coach Smart has implemented has re-made the Warriors a bit in the limited time that Smart has been promoted to head coach.  

It seems that most of the starting positions are locked in for the Warriors but there is a bit of uncertainty who will be the back-up and who will be the back-up to the back-ups.  Aaron Miles was the first point guard off the bench and Jeremy Lin dazzled in garbage time.  Charlie Bell was described in local press recently as someone that can share point guard duties.  But none of these three seem to distinguish that can they take over this position long term, yet.

Brandan Wright seemed to do little to differentiate himself either, described by CSN Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz as playing passive.  The back-up power-forward spot seems to be Vladimir Radmanovic's to lose.  The size, strength, and length of the Kings at all positions can make this a difficult matchup on both ends of the floor and tonight will definitely be another test for the Warriors big's (Jeff Adrien perhaps?) on whether they can defend the paint night in, night out.

And while the Warriors may rumble to another dominating victory, something tells me the Oracle crowd will be mostly focused on what Jeremy Lin will be doing. Whether a PR move or not, Jeremy Lin on the Warriors is definitely working so far.

Catch more preseason chatter of tonight's game over at SBNation's Golden State Warriors blog, Golden State of Mind.

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