The Warriors are led by former NBA All-Star (and former Nets analyst on the YES Network) Mark Jackson, and they enter tonight with a 24-13 record, good for fourth place in the Western Conference. Golden State swept the season series between the two teams last year, and they are 8-3 against the Nets in their last 11 meetings.
Any way you slice it, this is going to be a tough game for the Nets, whose two best players are out injured. The Warriors are eighth in the NBA in points per game, second in rebounds per game, and eighth in assists per game. They are an explosive offensive team that's very efficient from three-point land, as their 38.9% team shooting percentage from behind the arc is third-best in the NBA.
Golden State has five players averaging over 10 PPG, led by sharpshooter Stephen Curry, who leads the NBA in three-point attempts this season after leading the league with an even 600 attempts last year.
While his three-point shooting percentage is at a career-low 39.6% this year, the fifth-year pro remains one of the most dangerous shooters in the league, and he's averaging a career-best 9.5 APG this season. That's an impressive development in Curry's game, as he only cracked the 6.0 APG barrier for the first time last season.
Key Matchup: Steph Curry and Klay Thompson set the NBA record for most total three pointers by a pair of teammates last season, and Mark Jackson has said he believes the duo can be one of the best shooting back courts in NBA history.
The Nets have had trouble defending the perimeter this season, and they'll have a tough time keeping Golden State's shooters in check tonight. What makes the Warriors tough is that even if you shut down Curry and Thompson, you still have to deal with their inside presence of David Lee, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut. The Nets will need their defensive intensity and communication to be top-notch all night.
Player to Watch: Andrei Kirilenko has been a jack-of-all-trades for Brooklyn, and he's been outstanding since returning to the lineup. He may be their best defensive player, and I'm sure they'd love to get over 20 minutes out of AK47 tonight. He makes the whole team better, and they'll need him out there against this tough Warriors squad.