A physical game, and one controlled by Golden State. The Clippers are hearing footsteps behind them in their own division.
came into Oakland with a 1-loss losing streak. Now they have two in a row. Golden State came in on a 3-win streak, which is now 4 - the second longest winning streak of the Warriors
' season and the second longest current streak in the NBA. While last night's game didn't have a lot of effect on conference positions, it did tighten up the race at the top. And it was a dominating performance against the team directly ahead of us in the division.
Shooting, as usual. Rebounding, as usual. Defense, as usual. Winning,as usual. (Seriously, who are these guys and what have they done with the Warriors?) Matching the Clippers' physicality.
Turnovers, as usual. Fouls, as usual. (Oh wait, there they are.) As good as the Warriors have been, they still have plenty of room for improvement.
Matchups matter, clearly
. The Warriors match up much better with the Clippers than most people realize. In fact, the Dubs match up better with some very good teams (Atlanta, Clippers) than with some mediocre to bad ones (Orlando and Sacto, to be sure). At 21-2 against most of the league, while 1-8 against the Magic
, and Nuggets
, we should make a point of recognizing this.
Over the last 10 games
, the Warriors have a point differential of +8 - that's third best in the league. They also have the best 3-point % at .452, and the second-best opponent 3-pt percentage. Rebounding remains strong, with the sixth best differential in the league. Of note is blocks per game - while the Dubs were strongly negative in differential for most of the season, over the last 10 games the team is at .7 more blocks than their opponent - good for ninth. In that stretch, David Lee has been sixth in the league in combined points/rebounds/assists - and Stephen Curry has been eighth. Two other teams have two players in the top-15: Miami and OKC.
has become a factor. His rebound per 36 rate is over 16.5 in that period, and is third in rebounds per game on the team, while averaging about 12.5 minutes. His rate over these games is third in the league; first among players who have played 10 games. Using rebound %, he's third in the league on defensive reb% and eighth overall. He's also got a positive raw +/- over that stretch. In fact, he has the best NetRtg (Ortg-Drtg) on the team for that period at 15.6 - Steph is second at 11.9. He's still not worth his cumulative salary, but he's contributing at a level we haven't seen from him in years. If he can continue to play this well in that amount of time, the Warriors center position will be one of the strongest in the league when Bogut returns.
Speaking of rebounding - over that period Golden State has gotten an average of slightly better than 12 rebounds per game from our three rookie-draft players. For that 10-game stretch Barnes, Ezeli, and Green rank 7th, 8th, and 12th among rookie rebounders.
Almost lost in the box score last night was a sterling performance from Harrison Barnes
-13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in
It's hard not to give this to SC30 or DLee again, which is as it should be. Whether they make the All-Star game or not, they're individually and together having among the best years in the league, and they both showed it last night. They have to be considered one of the top pairings in the NBA right now, and are putting to rest the idea that this team doesn't have stars. But... in no-doubt controversial call, I'm giving it to the GM.
The thing that’s different about the league and college, in college you have teammates. Here you’ve got co-workers, you know what I mean?
And having a teammate is a very, very strong word. I think we have teammates in here. It’s not just guys that collect a check at the end of the day, ‘wooo, that was nice,’ and go home, chill in my house. That’s not how we do things here.
...you just get lucky with a group of guys that just form well around one another.
Jarrett Jack last night, via Tim Kawakami
He took into account something that very few people really do when you look at teams and the construction of teams, which is chemistry. How would all the pieces fit together? When I interviewed Bob, one thing I was really impressed by was his focus and understanding of that concept. That's not a simple thing. That's not a small thing. That was important.
So it wasn't entirely luck. Bob Myers had an idea of what was needed, and put it together. If we give players credit, we should credit the guy who put them together, as well.