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1. There was a stretch at the start of the season when it seemed the Warriors might actually be developing a defensive identity (relatively speaking). Now, they're ranked near the bottom in defensive efficiency. Again. Where are the Warriors still going wrong on that side of the ball?
The Warriors are failing due to personnel and strategy. Monta Ellis can't guard 2s, and he compounds the problem with constant freelancing. Despite an ability to wax eloquent on strategy matters, David Lee simply lacks defensive awareness. Keith Smart has the team keyed to overhelp on driving guards, which makes closeouts impossible for a short-armed back court (Curry and Ellis both have T-Rex wingspans).
2. A season into the David Lee deal, how does that look for you guys?
I like David Lee better than I like the deal. The Warriors burned a trade piece in Anthony Randolph, and now must compensate for Lee's defensive issues. Perhaps, if they shop ball-dominant Ellis, Golden State can make better use of the power forward's offensive gifts.
3. The Lakers have three wins over Golden State this season, two of the lopsided variety, one a little closer. What needs to happen for the Warriors to pull off the upset?
The Dubs need to hit a lot of 3-pointers. In other words: They must get very lucky in the face of overwhelming Lakers apathy.
4. The teams haven't met since January. Since then, Andrew Bynum has blown up for L.A., and Ron Artest has become far more productive. What has changed for GSW since the most recent meeting? Are they better or worse?
Nothing changes in Oakland.
The Warriors are at their familiar level of soft mediocrity, like always, like forever.