PREVIEW: Rockets at Warriors- Feb. 24

February 11, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) dribbles the basketball against Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW: Rockets at Warriors- Feb. 24

The Rockets will resume their season when they open the post-All-Star Break portion of the schedule against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in San Francisco. The Rockets entered the break on a seven-game losing streak, and they’ll be shorthanded against the Warriors as Kevin Porter Jr. is set to miss his 18th straight game with a left toe injury, and Jalen Green will also sit out after suffering a strained right groin in Oklahoma City last Wednesday.

Eye on the Warriors

Record: 29-30 (T-9th in Western Conference)

Offensive rating (rank): 114.0 (12th)

Defensive rating (rank): 114.2 (20th)

The Warriors will play their second game after the All-Star Break on Friday after losing to the Lakers on Thursday. Golden State is now 22-7 at home and 7-23 on the road; unfortunately for the Rockets, Friday’s game will be played on the Warriors’ home floor at Chase Center. Good news for the Rockets is that Stephen Curry has already been ruled out with a left shin injury, but since they played Thursday, the Warriors will not have to release an injury report for this game until Friday afternoon. Andrew Wiggins missed Thursday’s game for personal reasons. Klay Thompson did play against the Lakers on Thursday, and he has only played both games of a back-to-back once this season.

Matchup to watch: Rockets defense vs. Warriors pace

The Warriors’ style of play always makes them a tough matchup, regardless of who is on the floor. They play at the league’s fastest pace, but it’s about more than how quickly they get shots up; what makes the Warriors system tough to play against is how quickly they do everything. The ball is always moving and no one holds onto it, and they make you pay for every mistake. Golden State has scored 247 total points in their two games against the Rockets this season, but Friday’s game will be tougher than the previous two because Houston comes off a nine-day layoff and likely won’t be as sharp as they need to be. The Rockets spent Thursday’s practice preparing for what they will face, but you can’t replicate the Warriors’ offense in one practice.

What I’m watching for

The Rockets’ 3-point attempts have declined 20% in the 17 games Kevin Porter Jr. has missed. They are attempting just 28.2 per game in that stretch, fewest in the league, and it’s made them much easier to defend because teams are allowed to just crowd the paint. Playing without Porter’s ability to play downhill and create open 3’s for others is one reason why the Rockets aren’t shooting from long distance, but another reason is that they are simply passing up open looks due to a lack of confidence. Head coach Stephen Silas said Wednesday he hopes the break allowed his players to clear their heads after a tough stretch but acknowledged they have to take the shots when they are there.

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