After a close loss to the stumbling Detroit Pistons, the Warriors cross the national borders to take on another struggling team in the Toronto Raptors (1-5).
For the second game in a row, the Warriors struggled with poor shooting from the field. To use another sport to explain Warriors dramatic transformation, the Warriors have gone from being the equivalent to "The Greatest Show on Turf" of the 1999-2001 St. Louis Rams to the Superbowl Champions of 2000, the Baltimore Ravens, relying on defense to win.
The Warriors struggled to convert open looks against both the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons. Stephen Curry, still bothered by his ankle injury and the mobility issues of his ankle brace, shot a dismal 25% of the field. In limited minutes, Vladimir Radmanovic has show an even worse 23% for the season. This inefficiency is perfectly captured by Radmanovic's missing two wide-open 3 point attempts in a crucial fourth quarter with the Warriors trailing by 5. But Radmanovic's shooting woes at the 3point line were matched by his teammates as the Warriors shot a collective 26% from beyond the arc versus the Pistons.
The Warriors face the Toronto Raptors, who are 19th in the league in offensive output per game and 21st in defense. Without Chris Bosh, the Raptors have relied on Andrea Bargnani as their main offensive weapon, who is averaging 20 points per game and 5 rebounds.
Ironically, the perimeter oriented Raptors are oddly a horrible 3 point shooting team, collectively at 29%. This may work in the Warriors favor as they were burned repeatedly by various picks and double screens that freed up Pistons along the sideline for wide open 3 point looks. The Warriors bigs have struggled to defend opposing teams' frontlines, which has forced the Warriors to double team more often than not. As a result of the PIstons quick ball rotation, the Warriors always seemed one step behind to getting to the open shooter.
DeMar DeRozan has come on in his sophomore campaign. His athleticism and his slashing skills should put Dorell Wright's and Rodney Carney's defense to the test. Reggie Evans, known for hitting people below the belt more than anything, currently is the second best rebounder in the league at 13 a game. But if the Warriors can continue to control the glass, that should help them offset their shooting woes.