The formula to a successful winning season consists of a lot of wins behind a menacing home court and a good enough sub .500 record on the road. By definition, the Warriors had a successful road trip, finishing 2-2. But numbers without context are just that: random lifeless notes along a blank sheet. Wins against the Philadelphia Sixers and Minnesota Timberwolves were encouraging; signs of perhaps some team progress but disheartening losses to perennial -- at least recently -- playoff contenders Memphis and San Antonio drained away most of those good thoughts.
Regardless, the Warriors are 4-3 now and that's better than last year when they started 3-4. One game improvement per seven games. Add some here, throw some stuff there, that's about 11 games the Warriors are on pace to improve over last year's team! 58 wins it is! How's that for a start? All that made sense in my head before actually having to write it down.
Warrior Wonder: Andre Iguodala
For a while, Iguodala kept the Warriors alive with an array of mid-range jumpers and excellent passing. A line of 8-10, 19, 5, 4 will probably remain the norm (sans the shooting percentage) and it appears Jackson is not comfortable handing over the backup point position to anyone but Iguodala. Barnes played the primary ball-handler at times but struggled with his decision-making yet again. The flashes are there, as always, but Iguodala will likely remain the focal point on the second unit whenever he is in.
Things that happened:
1. Stephen Curry blew by Tony Allen.
2. Andre Iguodala has a consistent three-point shot, sorta. He is shooting 44 percent this year. And is a 33 percent career shooter.
3. Draymond Green does things well -- scrappy defense and random threes. Like blocking an alley-oop on his blindside. He also does a lot of things not so well -- way too aggressive when he shouldn't be. Like drawing a technical foul after a three to cut the lead to single digits. The epitome of diminishing returns if his minutes aren't monitored.
4. The Warriors played zone, and couldn't find the only guy that can shoot past 24 feet for the Grizzlies. Mike Miller apparently doesn't need LeBron James to find him open shots at age 589.
5. Curry and Klay Thompson ran a pick-and-pop. It ended up with a Thompson dribble kick to a Curry three. Harrison Barnes and Iguodala are up next.
6. Barnes shot a pull-up 18-footer with Zach Randolph on him.
7. Barnes guarded Randolph on ensuing possession and fouled him. Goodbye smallball.
8. A Warriors big man fouled out in 23 minutes and it wasn't Andrew Bogut (David Lee).
9. The Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat are 4-3. Good times for the ELITE NBA teams.