Warriors Waves: Los Angeles D-Fenders Preview

A quick preview of the upcoming two game series between the Santa Cruz Warriors and Los Angeles D-Fenders.

The Warriors will be facing off against the Los Angeles D-League Affiliate the D-Fenders in a two-game series today. There are interesting matchups that will be key to the Warriors coming away with wins in both games. 

Contaning Johnson-Odom 

Through the first four games of the season Darius Johnson-Odom has been an absolute monster averaging 18 points per game. Johnson-Odom was selected 55th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2012 NBA draft, but his rights were sold to the Lakers almost immediately. He has been on assignment from the Lakers, after playing in four games where he did not record any points in limited action, and has continued to grow and blossom. 

Not only can he score the ball, but he is also been more well rounded than the average American on thanksgiving. He's hauling in 5.5 rebounds per game which is impressive and speaks volumes about his athletic ability. He's also been in the giving mood dishing out 5.3 assists a game. 

He's been in a slump in his last two games shooting 3 for 11 against the Bakersfield Jam and 4-12 against the Springfield Armor. It'll be interesting how the Warriors handle him on the defensive end of the court. If I was a betting man my money would be on Travis Leslie guarding Johnson-Odom throughout the game.

Winning the Rebounding Battle

The Warriors have thrived off of offensive rebounds and being strong on the boards defensively, and now with the 7-foot 260 pound center Robert Sacre being recalled by the Lakers just days ago, life will be a little easier for the Warriors. Despite the loss of Sacre the D-Fenders still have Jarrid Famous and Garry Flowers who have played well in relief of Sacre through the first four games. 

Taylor Griffin, Mickell Gladness, Chris Daniels and Lance Goulbourne have all done an outstanding job controlling the boards in their first three games, and Travis Leslie has shown that he plays above the rim averaging 10 rebounds a game. There's not doubt that the Warriors defense will show up however these two games are going to be won with physicality under the rim. 

It All Starts From The Point

Stefhon Hannah and Travis Leslie have been the go to guys in the scoring department, but for the Warriors offense to be clicking and running smoothly Hannah and the other guards have to spread the wealth.

Hannah is only averaging 3.7 assists per game, and although he's made up for that with his ability to score the rock, there still needs to be a bigger emphasis on making the players around him better.

Muarice Baker, Justin Johnson and Carlon Brown have all played time at the point. Johnson comes into the game off the bench as a Jason Terry kind of player who looks for his shot and is tasked to score the ball. Baker is a more of an all around player, but his natural position is shooting guard or the two. The word is still out with Carlon, he's only seen a total of 15 minutes so far, but he is a project type player trying to make the switch to the point guard spot. 

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