The Golden State Warriors open the season facing the Houston Rockets, playing the second game of a back-to-back. Travelling and chasing Kobe around can tire you out quickly and lets hope the Warriors exploit the Rockets’ possible tiredness right out the gates.
The Warriors finished out their preseason disappointingly, losing every road game and getting more injured in the process. We already knew about Ekpe Udoh’s wrist. But recently signed Louis Amundson, the new Ronny Turiaf, injured himself nine minutes into his first preseason game..after missing much time with a back injury. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Warriors got a scare in the second to last game of the season when Stephen Curry tweaked his ankle and was held out of the final game.
But in typical fashion the Warriors roll on and face a disciplined basketball team that at one point last night led the Los Angeles Lakers by double digits until a fourth quarter meltdown — or, rather, their inability to stop Shannon Brown.
The Rockets are loaded with shooters in Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, and Chase Budinger, which spells doom for our Warriors (lack of) perimeter defense. Just as challenging for the Warriors will be finding a way to defend against Houston’s frontline with the always efficient Luis Scola and Yao Ming. Granted, Yao will not be playing as Avinash mentioned earlier. But watching a joking, jovial Yao on the sidelines and then seeing him slam home a left handed dunk over two Laker defenders it traffic shows that he’s looking to make the most out of those 24 minutes he gets to play. Chuck Hayes plays bigger than he is, which is unfortunate for a Warriors squad who seem to do the opposite (see Brandan Wright).
Most importantly, will won’t get to see two Chinese players on the court at the same time. But we will see them both sitting on their respective benches, which begs the question: Shouldn’t Asian Heritage Night have worked better the first game of the season, given how Asian Heritage Last season was when Yi Jianlian and the New Jersey Nets came to town (and Yi put up a stinker of a game in his honor)?
So what can we expect tonight? Here are Golden State of Mind’s predictions:
Hope on over to Golden State of Mind’s game thread to join in on today’s excitement and chatter of opening night.
Or, if you prefer the Rockets, check The Dream Shake.