What to watch for: Hawks vs. Warriors

November 14, 2012, 8:47 pm
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The Warriors (3-4) find themselves in their first tough spotof the season. Theyre on a two-game losing streak for the first time this yearand theyre staring at a tough three-game road trip.In the meantime, the Atlanta Hawks are in town for a game againstthe Warriors.The Hawks are in a little bit of a transition, having tradedJoe Johnson in the offseason. But they still have two competent players upfront in Josh Smith and Al Horford and athletic frontcourts can sometimesgive the Warriors trouble.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdaysgame:Contain Josh Smith: Smith can be anoppositions nightmare or an oppositions best friend. He is talented andathletic but not always motivated.Hes not a very good perimeter shooter and yet hell ventureout near the 3-point line often. Smith is off to an awful start this season.Hes averaging just 14.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and shooting 40percent from the field and 14.3 percent from 3-point range.And how about this Smith is shooting 20 percent from theline this year (3-for-15). Its important that the Warriors dont allow Smithto get going.Bounce back for Thompson: Its been along four days for Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson. He missed a couple offree throws that could have sealed a game against Denver on Saturday, thenfollowed it up by failing to foul when he was instructed to do so.RELATED: Klay Thompson talks about forgettable gameThompson went 9-for-26 from the floor in that 107-101double-overtime loss to the Nuggets, and for the season hes shooting just 37.5percent.For the Warriors to be at their best, Thompson needs to bemaking shots.Get some easy ones: The Warriors havebecome too reliant on the outside jump shot in recent days and thats going tohave to change moving forward.Whether its finding some kind of interior scoring orgetting some uncontested fastbreak layups in transition, the Warriors have tofind a way to get higher percentage shots.To that end, lets see if Warriors coach Mark Jacksonperhaps begins to call Harrison Barnes number. Of all the Warriors, Barnes hasbeen the best at getting the rim in the halfcourt.