This time last week, the wheels were coming, nay, flying off. And after a poor start to this week, it seemed that would continue. But then a switch flipped, and suddenly the Warriors started looking like a team that, even without its offensive and defensive anchors, is really, really talented.
Who knows how history will tell the story of the 2018-19 Warriors. But we may look back on last week as one that was very, very important.
Performance this week
Point differential: +1
Year to date
Offensive rating: 2nd (114.1)
Defensive rating: 18th (108.9)
Net rating: 5th (5.2)
Conference standings: 2nd (0 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers)
The week’s results
Game #19: Oklahoma City Thunder 123, Golden State Warriors 95
The hope was that, following a miserable road trip through Texas, the Warriors could return home and get their mojo going. That ultimately happened, but it certainly wasn’t initially. The Dubs looked lethargic against OKC, and seemingly lacked interest on both ends of the court. Dennis Schroder carved the team up, and Steven Adams made the Warriors young bigs look . . . not so big.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 27 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 11-22 FG
Game #20: Golden State Warriors 125, Portland Trail Blazers 97
It was not a happy Thanksgiving for the Trail Blazers. Portland entered the week on top of the Western Conference, then their holiday was bookended by a 43-point loss to the Milwaukee Buc s, and a 28-point loss to the Warriors. Their loss was the Warriors win (quite literally), and jump-started Golden State.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 32 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 13-21 FG
Game #21: Golden State Warriors 117, Sacramento Kings 116
The suddenly-good Kings gave the Warriors everything they could handle, and it made for a very entertaining back-and-forth game. Ultimately it came down to the wire, and, with the Warriors trailing by one, Klay Thompson drove, missed a layup, got his own layup, and put it back in with under six seconds left. One chaotic finish, and the Warriors had their second win in a row.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 44 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 13-26 FG
The week’s big stories
Back to their winning ways
After Wednesday’s loss, the Warriors had lost four games in a row, for the first time in the Steve Kerr era. They also had lost five of their last six, and six of their last eight. They simply weren’t playing well. But a blowout against the talented Blazers, and a tough win against the pesky Kings, and the team looks like a winning squad once more.
Damion Lee continues his solid play
Damion Lee is a on a two-way contract, but like Quinn Cook a year ago, he’s making the absolute most out of it. He had a strong week, and is now averaging 5.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 47.6% from three-point range. His per36 numbers are 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, so he’s making the most of his opportunities.
Putting the altercation in the past
Draymond Green is still sitting out due to a toe injury, but it looks like the incident between him and Kevin Durant is firmly in the past. Durant finally rebounded to have a monstrous week, and the energy and chemistry of the team seems improved. Everyone is saying the right things, and now backing it up with their play.