Blazers-Warriors: What to watch for

Blazers-Warriors: What to watch for
February 15, 2012, 4:08 pm
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Programming note: Coverage of tonight's Portland-Warriors game begins at 6:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live followed by the tip-off from Oracle Arena at 7 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

OAKLAND The Warriors are playing their best basketball ofthe season, and are on a season-high three-game winning streak. The Blazers areon the other end of the spectrum, having lost four of their past five.The Blazers will also be without leading scorer LaMarcusAldridge, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesdays loss to the WashingtonWizards. Aldridge did not accompany the Blazers to the Bay Area.Here are some things to watch for:
Go deep: The Warriors second unit hasbeen good all season and seems to be getting better. Ekpe Udoh is evolving intoa consistent defense factor off the bench and Brandon Rush and Klay Thompsonhave been lights out when it comes to shooting beyond the arc.Ekpe Udoh game logs Klay Thompson game logs Brandon Rush game logs
The Warriors would appear to have a depth advantage againstPortland. Four of the Blazers players logged 35 or more minutes againstWashington: Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Camby and WesleyMatthews.Batum-Ellis: Blazers shooting guardNicolas Batum is considered one of the best defenders at the two position.Ellis can sometimes have difficulty against an opponent with length and Batumhas that.But as a team, the Blazers are struggling, and after theteams 124-109 loss to the Wizards on Tuesday, Batum criticized his teamsdefensive effort.We say we are a defensive team, blah, blah, blah, Batumsaid. When (the Wizards) score more than 28 in each quarter, thats a bad game maybe the worst game weve played this year. Defensively, for sure; overall,one of the worst.Take care of the ball: High-turnovergames have been a killer for the Warriors particularly when Monta Ellis andStephen Curry are committing those turnovers.Monta Ellis game logs Stephen Curry game logs
The reason: Those turnovers tend to happen at the top of thefloor, which often lead to fastbreak points. In Mondays win over Phoenix, theWarriors had just 10 turnovers and won the game.Stay solid: Without Aldridge, the Blazersdont have a player the Warriors need to double-team. That will presentWarriors coach Mark Jackson with a great opportunity: playing the Blazersman-to-man with few gimmicks.Jackson has been saying all season how the Warriors havebecome a defensive team. Against a Blazers team missing their best player, itwill be a chance to prove it.

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