Programming note: Chat with Warriors Insider Matt Steinmetz during the first quarter of tonight's Warriors - Bucks game in our Jack in the Box Ask the Expert chat!
All of sudden what was looking like arelatively uneventful Friday night game between the Bucks and Warriors atOracle Arena is going to be as interesting as all get-out.Shooting guard Monta Ellis, who wastraded to Milwaukee on Tuesday, will be playing against his former team, theWarriors, in his initial game with the Bucks.Ellis played seven-plus seasons for theWarriors and was one of the franchises most well-liked players. On Tuesday,Ellis, along with Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown, were traded to Milwaukee forAndrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. The Warriors subsequently moved Jackson alongto San Antonio for Richard Jefferson.It should be a very intriguing eveningat Oracle Arena, with some kind of tribute or honoring of Ellis to likely comebeforehand. Here are some things to watch for during Friday nightsBucks-Warriors game:
Ellis role: MontaEllis will likely start for the Bucks and be paired alongside Brandon Jennings.That makes two quick, explosive guards in the backcourt for the Bucks, and theWarriors are going to have to combat that in some way.The Warriors started Nate Robinson andKlay Thompson in the backcourt against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.Regardless of which player guards which, Thompson will have his hands full witheither Ellis or Jennings.Effort level: Iftheres been one consistent pattern in the two games the Warriors have playedwithout Ellis, its that the Warriors have been playing with energy and effort.They blew out the Kings in Sacramento on the night the trade went down and thencame back on Wednesday and played the Celtics more than tough at OracleArena.Expect no shortage of effort from theWarriors again on Friday.Jeffersons possible debut:Warriors general manager Larry Riley said on Thursday that it waspossible, though not assured, that newly acquired small forward RichardJefferson would play against the Bucks.If Jefferson does play, hed likelyback up Dorell Wright. But its no secret that Wright has struggled at timesthis year, and that coach Mark Jackson has kept him on the bench for longstretches.If Jefferson comes in and catchesJacksons eye, its very possible we could have some competition for theWarriors small forward spot.Lee vs. Udoh:Warriors power forward David Lee and Ekpe Udoh, his former teammate,went up against each other a lot at practice over the past two seasons. Theyrelikely to be matched up occasionally on Friday.Lee is more of an offensive player, andUdoh is more of a defensive player, which should make for a nice littlegame-within-a-game.