Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for

Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for
December 8, 2012, 10:00 am
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Nineteen-year-old rookie Bradley Beal is averaging 11.4 points and 27.1 minutes per game for the Wizards. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Warriors-Wizards coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final whistle for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors are coming off an impressive win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Friday, and now a potential toe-stubber shows up in the form of the Washington Wizards.

Golden State (12-7), which has started its seven-game road trip with consecutive wins, faces the worst team in the league – record-wise, certainly – on Saturday at the Verizon Center, in D.C.

The Wizards (2-14) began the year with 12 straight losses, but have won two of their past four games – including a win last Tuesday against the defending-champion Miami Heat.

John Wall has been out all season for the Wizards with a strained left knee, and Trevor Ariza missed Friday’s game against the Hawks with a strained left calf.

Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play the Wizards on Saturday night:

No letdown: No doubt, the Warriors are coming off a satisfying win against the Nets. Can they back it up? Quite frankly, there’s no reason to think they can’t.

The Warriors are 6-4 on the road this season, with wins over the L.A. Clippers, Mavericks and now Brooklyn.

Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry all had minutes on the low-side against the Nets, so they should be able to play plenty of minutes, if need be, against Washington.

Pace of the game: It’s not a stretch to suggest that the Warriors have more scorers on their roster than the Wizards. And so one thing Golden State would like to do is quicken the game in order to create more possessions.

The more uptempo the game, the more it favors the Warriors. In that respect, it’s not dissimilar to Friday night’s game against the Nets.

By getting into the hundreds against the Nets – a 109-102 victory – it sure seemed to give the Warriors a better shot at winning the game.

More Curry and Lee: There have been numerous contributors this season for the Warriors, but in recent games Stephen Curry and David Lee have been particularly good.

Curry had 28 points and five assists against Brooklyn, and had had four consecutive 20-point, 10-assist games before that. Lee is coming off a 30-point, 15-rebound game against the Nets and he’d been very good before that.

If Curry and Lee continue to play well, the Warriors have a chance to have a very good road trip.

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