Almost halfway through the regular season, this seemed like a good time to gather the Golden State of Mind writers for a quick roundtable. We begin today with a look at the highs and lows of the season thus far.
Early in the season people were criticizing the Warriors’ lack of depth. Are you concerned about that at all?
Apricot: For a game with everyone healthy, the bench is fine, even an occasional strength. There is a lack of steady wing/guard depth overall and all the bigs are prone to getting lost.
Duby Dub Dubs: Concerned “at all”? Sure, a little bit, but it’s important to consider the scale of concern here. The two players most eligible for upgrade, James Michael McAdoo and Anderson Varejao, have played grand totals of 83 and 62 minutes on the season, respectively. This works out to about 2.4 and 1.8 minutes per Warriors game so far this season. So yeah, I’m concerned that we have a couple of nearly unusable bigs. But I think it’s safe to say that it’s a relatively minor problem.
Basketball Jonez: Yes, I have concerns about the Warriors’ depth, but those worries are alleviated somewhat by the emergence of Kevon Looney as a legitimate NBA player, along with the glimpses of promise shown by Patrick McCaw. Also, JaVale McGee has been a nice fit as a change-of-pace center ... but Andre Iguodala’s contributions off the bench so far this season haven’t been very encouraging. He seems a step slower to me. I think that the 6th man is more important than the 10th, so Andre’s regression is somewhat alarming to me, even if it’s a story no one is talking about.
Hugo Kitano: It depends on the meaning of “depth.” Last year, Coach Kerr famously did not shorten his rotation in the playoffs. This year, he’ll hopefully keep the best guys on the floor a little more. Do the Warriors still have questions at center and at the wings? Sure, but when the bench guys are playing their best (which is not all the time), there’s not much to complain about.
Mike B: Much like Hugo, I'm hoping Coach Kerr won’t fall back on the old “strength in numbers” routine that we saw last postseason, unless those numbers are 30, 35, 11 and 23. The Warriors could use some improvements in their front court depth but, really, who are we to complain? Our core four resemble some sort of basketball Avengers. Lacob and Co. have assembled a heck of a team, so let's hope Coach Kerr finds a way to use a traditional playoff rotation of about eight men.
Andrew Flohr: Not really. Keeping opponents off the offensive glass is a bigger problem at this point in time.
Kim Stubbe: No team can have a perfect roster. If they could, what would be the point of having a league and competing? It would take the fun out of the game. So is the Warriors’ roster prefect? No. Is it good enough to compete and potentially win a championship? Absolutely. And that’s one of the reasons why watching the Warriors is so exciting and fun.
Nate P.: No. When you have four All-Star caliber players, there’s really no reason to have any less than two on the court at any given time during meaningful minutes. Even if he goes deep into the bench, as long as two of those big four are on the court, it’s a moot point against most teams in the league. Now if there’s an injury to a wing, I think there’s a risk of wearing someone out ... but, otherwise, this is not something I find reason to worry about. Like Andrew said, a bigger problem is probably rebounding.
Bram Kincheloe: The only depth I’m concerned about is the size of the hole the Warriors are going to leave the Cavaliers in come June.
What’s your favorite Warriors’ moment so far this season?
Apricot: I loved the games where everyone chipped in to pump up a teammate, like Klay’s 60, KD’s OKC reunion and Curry’s 13 threes. Individual moments: team defensive stands to win games, like Draymond’s four or five stops.
DDD: Since Apricot already claimed Klay’s big game, I’ll go with Draymond Green and his double defensive shutdown plays at the end of the Hawks’ game. In a day and age where highlights are 98% about offense, Green has shown us that defense can be equally exciting. I really love that!
Jonez: Draymond backing up his claims about players “coming at him at the end of games.” His defense won those games against Milwaukee and Atlanta. Nobody backs up their words the way Dray does. I think he’s the most “clutch” player in the league.
Mike B: The McCaw buzzer beaters from the preseason still stand out to me. As for the regular season specifically it has to be Durant “playing angry” against OKC, talking trash to their bench as he drops 39 points on them — just brilliant. I can't wait to see his homecoming in Oklahoma.
Andrew Flohr: Klay’s 60 for sure. It is one of the greatest scoring performances by any player in NBA history and to be there to experience that is something that I will never forget.
Durant giving it to OKC was also fun to watch, because it was so early in the season and there was so much hype around that game. He played like he had something to prove.
Lastly, being able to see players like Speights, Barbosa, Barnes, Bogut and Ezeli make their return to Oracle has been really special. You can tell those players enjoyed their time in Golden State. The Warriors do a great job in acknowledging their time spent with the team and the crowd is always welcoming to former players.
Kim Stubbe: I personally enjoy Draymond “Clutch” Green. Those massive blocks and defensive plays in the 4th quarter to seal the deal always get me cheering. I also enjoy watching the bench lose their minds when a player, whether it be a star like Klay Thompson or a quickly improving player like Ian Clark, gets rolling.
Nate P.: The first quarter of that Toronto Raptors game after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas was a thing of beauty. They were locked in on both ends and I think we caught a glimpse of what we all imagined when the Warriors signed Durant. I was most impressed by the defense and simplicity of their passing on offense.
Then of course later on you had that insane Andre Iguodala pass and Kevin Durant double block at the end. That game was really a high point for me for many reasons.
Bram Kincheloe: It’s hard to pinpoint a single moment amongst all the glorious basketball we’ve witnessed so far. Although this particular moment (during Klay’s 60 point, 90 second offensive explosion) really made me giggle:
Also, #neverforget. Zaza Pachulia #NBAVote (for the dance team, at the very least):
What are your biggest concerns and favorite moments from the season thus far? Let us know in the comments or write a FanPost if you have longer thoughts to post.