Bucks vs. Warriors Preview | Andre Iguodala out, Andrew Bogut expected to return as Bucks roll into Oakland

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
13/14 NBA Preseason
Mil_medium
(13-55, 5-28 road)
vs.
Gsw
(44-23, 22-11 home)
March 20, 2014
Oracle Arena | Oakland, CA
10:30 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Brandon Knight PG Stephen Curry
Nate Wolters SG Klay Thompson
Khris Middleton SF Harrison Barnes
Ersan Ilyasova PF David Lee
Larry Sanders C Andrew Bogut
2012/13 Advanced Stats
91.7 (25th) Pace 96.2 (5th)
102.1 (27th) ORtg 106.9 (13th)
110.9 (30th) DRtg 102.0 (3rd)

On the Warriors: Golden State of Mind | Warrior World | Bucks Game Notes

Warriors update. Mark Jackson is on pace to win 50 games, his team has the league's third ranked defense, and his offense features the league's most explosive shooting combination in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Life's good, eh? Well, yes and no. Many might assume Jackson's Warriors are the same sort of fun, explosive team that we've seen in Oakland going back to the days of Don Nelson. Except, not really. Though they play fast and can shoot you into oblivion, the Warriors are fundamentally a defensive team, relying heavily on the defensive chops of former Buck Andrew Bogut, summer signing Andre Iguodala and savvy role players like Draymond Green. They allow the 3rd lowest 2p% and 6th lowest 3P%, rank 5th in defensive rebound rate, and generally have a championship-caliber D. They've also won two in a row--a shorthanded 103-89 home win over the Magic and a full-strength 113-112 nail-biter over the Blazers in Portland.

But all is not perfect in the Bay Area. They've been inconsistent at home (22-11 at home, 21-15 on the road) and "only" slightly above average offensively (13th), good for an impressive 43-26 but somewhat underwhelming 6th seed in the ultra-competitive West. Though they rank 9th in eFG%, they're below average on the offensive boards and in the turnover department, and among the league's worst in free throw rate.  All of which is why owner Joe Lacob was less than thrilled with his team in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami:

I think you're always evaluating everybody, whether it be the players, the coaches... It's hard to know, if you don't quite win a few games you should, is it the coach's fault? Is it the players' fault? It's hard to say.

I think we'll have to look back on a body of work at the end of the season and look at that and make an evaluation.

I do think our coach has done a good job-we have had some big wins, a lot of wins on the road, and that's usually a sign of good coaching.

But some things are a little disturbing-the lack of being up for some of these games at home, that's a concern to me.

Of course, these are the types of things you worry about when your goal is to contend for a championship, which was at least in the discussion for the Warriors after adding Iguodala to a team that won 47 games and made plenty of playoff noise a year ago. They're not inspiring much title talk right now, but that won't make them any less dangerous in April and May--or any less of a problem for the Bucks tonight.

UPDATE: Ted Davis tweets that Bogut will play.

The defense rests? The Warriors' impressive D won't be at full strength tonight, with Iguodala out with knee tendinitis and Bogut a game-time decision due to a sore ankle. The disappointing Harrison Barnes figures to start in Iguodala's stead, while Bogut's absence would mean a small-ball big man pairing of Draymond Green (who plays bigger than his official 6'7" listing) and David Lee.  Size-wise that makes it at least a little fairer fight against the underwhelming Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova. As usual I'll be hoping John Henson earns some more minutes than he's been getting, but...well, I guess that whole conversation is getting rather old. At least Henson got to play video games with his old college buddy Barnes today:

Speaking of Barnes, here's a question I asked the last time these two teams met back in January: is Khris Middleton a poor man's Harrison Barnes, or is Harrison Barnes a poor man's Khris Middleton? Here are the numbers via Basketball-Reference--you decide.

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