In surprising fashion, the Warriors sit atop the NBA's Pacific Division for once, albeit sharing the that number one spot with three other teams.
The Warriors celebrate "Asian Heritage Night" by taking on their Pacific Division counterparts in the Los Angeles Clippers, "Warriors-South" as Atma Brother #1 of Golden State of Mind (the Warriors would be "Clippers-North"). Coming off a Don Nelson-like victory over the Houston Rockets, 132-128, looks like Coach Keith Smart isn't ready to ditch what these Warriors know best: Scoring. Looks like the Warriors former "defensive coordinator," who emphasized improving defense this preseason, also forgot to put that into the game plan against the Rockets.
The Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry backcourt combo accounted for 71 of the Warriors 132 points and perhaps squashed any questions of whether they could co-exist. In spite of injuring his ankle midway through the third quarter, Curry finished out the quarter with 12 points and 4 assists as Ellis took a breather.
The big off-season acquisition in David Lee also proved its worth as he provided the rebounding as well as playmaking abilities to the tune of 17 points, 15 boards, and 6 assists. He has fans over at Golden State of Mind calling him the best big man the Warriors have had since Chris Webber based off all around skills.
But the Warriors are going to need better defense from David Lee and Andris Biedrins than they provided on Wednesday night when Luis Scola exploded for 36 points. The Warriors face Blake Griffin tonight, whose debut filled with amazing athleticism and thunderous highlight dunks has quickly made the Clippers the media darlings of Los Angeles.
Griffin's displayed why he was a number one pick and a favorite for the Rookie of the Year award as he showed an impressive repertoire of skills on the offensive end. If there was someone that matched David Lee's ability to get second chance put backs, it would be Blake Griffin. With that said, the Warriors will need to be a body on him on defensive as he's already been known to make posters of people.
The Warriors have had success against the Clippers and Stephen Curry notched his first triple double of his career last season at the Oracle against them. Curry's ankle may still be bothering him, but Smart says that he will play tonight.
There are no notable injuries on the Clippers.
Lastly, tonight is "Asian Heritage Night" and we can expect fans to come out in droves to see him. But will we just see him courtside wearing a fancy suit rather than a Warriors uniform? After getting his first "Did Not Play-Coaches Decision," the only non-injured Warrior not suited up, it is clear that Lin isn't ready to play major minutes. But what happens when it is "Asian Heritage Night" and there is a close game? Will Smart have to put Jeremy Lin in for the fans?