The winning streak is back up to eight as the Warriors head into Oklahoma City to take on a frantically desperate for wins Thunder team. Friday night’s meeting comes at a busy time for the Warriors, who will have a quick turnaround and be in Houston to take on the scorching hot Rockets on Saturday.
But the Warriors depth will allow them to survive a schedule that sees, as head coach Steve Kerr put it, “5 games in 6.5 days.” Kerr also announced, in true Gregg Popovich fashion, that both Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala will be sitting out on Friday night for plain and simple rest. A very good thing for the long term, but it will sure make things more difficult against a Superstar heavy Thunder squad in the short term.
I asked Warriors shooting guard Justin Holiday what they can do to slow down Kevin Durant again on Friday as they did in their last meeting, and as a team, do you want to try to take away Durant’s game or Westbrook’s? Holiday said, “Our goal is to slow both of them down. Those two are All-Stars, so they will score. And at the end of the day, all you can do is contest their shots and force them to shoot tough ones. We will do the best we can to make it hard for them and take them out of their comfort zone.”
It will be interesting to see how the Warriors defend and rebound without two of their best defenders. That’s where the depth is going to come into play. Steve Kerr has the ability to throw an entirely fresh second unit on the court and still have a legitimate five on both ends of the floor. Not many teams can go 10, 11, and 12 deep with such an unselfish level of play.