With the Trade Winds A-Blowin....

I think it's an appropriate time to analyze what this team is missing rather than players who are available and whether they're a good fit.

Here's where I believe the Dubs are currently at:

We're good. Really good. Opposing teams are wary of our 'star players' and strong coaching as well as our team strengths - in particular our rebounding, perimeter shooting, and improved interior defense. Are we contenders? Hell no. Are we close to being contenders? Meh. So why is that?

More than any game yet, tonight's game against Portland exposed some glaring weaknesses that most heavy-hitting playoff teams lack and need to be addressed to take that next step forward. Personally, I would reason that these weaknesses are the Dubs god-awful perimeter defense and a complete inability to execute a rotational double-team.

Perimeter D... Rush had that on lockdown (sigh). Portland managed to attempt 43 threes tonight... take a moment and let that sink in... Luke Babbitt may have gone an atrocious 2-10 from the arc, but I counted somewhere around 6 or 7 relatively uncontested open looks from him alone. That's just not acceptable. If any of Portland's other usually distance-efficient players, such as Matthews (2-11) or Batum (3-7), had been on par tonight from the outside we would have been smoked by 10+ points. I blame this on two separate things:

1) A 3-guard set down the stretch and late in games has proven to be so costly on the defensive end. Steph, Klay, and Jack together is a fun offensive performance, but the 3 of them are hard to watch out on the perimeter. Steph has shown flashes defending the outside, but both Klay and Jack give too much room and are pretty mediocre in avoiding screens. And when these three are missing shots on the other end... that's when we blow 20 point leads (ring a bell?)

2) Our zone defense is focused way too much on the interior. The Dubs are excellent on collapsing on driving players and interfering with kick-out passes, but the zone formation is pulled to close to the basket. It makes it to easy for opposing teams to swing the ball around the arc for an open corner 3 with very little contention or ensuing rotation.

Which segways perfectly into our next short-coming. Lillard was the first player the Dubs have faced all season that had them rendered defenseless. It wasn't until MJ stuck Dray on Damien in the final seconds did the man seem only slightly guard-able. Lillard hit 7 threes tonight (SEVEN!!!) and not once did it cross anybody's mind to maybe double team the guy around the perimeter. We all know what an effective double-team looks like; Steph gets double teamed routinely and sometimes it requires Jack or Lee to pickup the offensive pressure and keep the pace up. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm failing to recall any dominating player we've faced thus far that has been bottled up offensively via a double team. I really am afraid of watching players like Durant and Paul run us out of the gym due to a complete lack of rotational double teams, especially on the outside.

So how do we fix this? Better coaching? Trades?

I certainly am not an advocate for significant rosterbation unless it's for the sake of rebuilding a franchise. Where the Warriors are now, the last thing they need is a high-octane, massivily contracted player like Rudy Gay. We don't need another big seeing as Festus will eventually slide the bench (drool) when Bogut eventually returns (Mega-drool. If we're 22-11 currently with Festus starting at C, we're a-okay). What we truly lack is a backup 2 guard - someone who is young, proficient all around defensively, can drain a couple catch and shoots, and quick. The problem is that we don't really have the assets to make a baby-step trade; our roster is a mixture of players with extremely high worth or those with none at all. But there are young, unproven, guards riding benches all over the NBA that are certainly attainable (Marshon Brooks anyone? Remember him? He's been bumped down the depth chart quite a bit. Alec Burks? Martell Webster? Dominque Jones?). The 3 guard set, especially matched with a Landry/Lee pairing upfront, will always make these games tight and hard to watch, particularly if MJ keeps pulling Barnes/Green out for most of the second half.

Phew - That was a long read/write. If you got this far, thanks! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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