The NBA season is on hold, suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. Between the severity of the pandemic, and the fact that the Golden State Warriors had been eliminated from the playoffs before the games were put on hold, there’s a decent chance that we’ve seen the last of the Dubs until the 2020-21 season.
But the NBA is trying to make sure that you still have some Warriors basketball to watch. On Wednesday, the league announced that NBA League Pass will be free to the public until April 22.
Obviously there aren’t live games to watch, but you can watch any games from this season, as well as some older classics in the archives.
Now the Warriors haven’t exactly been a fun team to watch this year. They have the worst record in the league, the worst net rating in the league, the worst offense in the league, and the fourth-worst defense in the league.
But we’re in no place to complain. Basketball is basketball, and Warriors basketball is Warriors basketball.
Whether you already had League Pass, or are getting the free version now, it’s time to watch some Warriors basketball.
Here are five games to pass the quarantine time:
1. December 25 - Warriors 116, Rockets 104
A Christmas miracle.
The Warriors were just 7-24, but riding their first winning streak of the season. The Rockets were 21-9, and sporting an all-MVP backcourt.
For one of the first (and last) times all year, Draymond Green played like the Draymond Green we know and love, finishing with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Damion Lee had a career game, with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, while shooting 5-9 from the field, 2-2 from distance, and 10-10 from the free throw line.
Most entertaining, however, was the defensive performance. James Harden had a decent, though below-average (for him) offensive game, scoring 24 points on 9-18 shooting.
The Warriors focused on Harden, and instead forced Russell Westbrook to try and beat them. Westbrook obliged, at least with the “try” part. He shot just 11-32, finishing with more field goal attempts than points (30).
The Dubs pulled off the upset, and perhaps exposed the Rockets in the process.
2. March 5 - Raptors 121, Warriors 113
The Warriors lost, but this game was equal parts entertaining and important. It was Steph Curry’s return — and possibly the last time we’ll see him play until next year.
Curry missed 58 games between breaking his hand in October and returning against the defending champs. During that time we were all left to wonder how good he would be, and subsequently, how good the Warriors could be when he returned.
As the months passed, many seemed to think that even the full-strength Warriors would be good, but not great.
One game from Curry was all it took to dispel that notion. With every magical crossover, every step-back jumper, every behind-the-back flick of the wrist, Curry proved that he was still an MVP caliber player, and that, once the Warriors could team Curry, Green, and Klay Thompson up again, they’d be ready to make a run for another title.
3. October 28 - Warriors 134, Pelicans 123
After opening the season with back-to-back embarrassing losses, the Warriors clicked for the first — and one of the only — times in the third game of the year.
It was a glimpse of what the team hoped the season would be: The Warriors new backcourt of Curry and D’Angelo Russell combined for 50 points and 19 assists, while Green had a triple-double of 16 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists.
It gave the Warriors hope.
It was also the only game that the Warriors would win with both Curry and Russell on the court, so maybe don’t think about that when you re-watch it. Cling to the hope part.
4. November 4 - Warriors 127, Blazers 118
Things were grim for the 1-5 Warriors. Curry had broken his hand a few days earlier, and Russell, while putting up decent numbers, wasn’t driving the team to wins. Less than two weeks into the season, it already looked like the Warriors could pull the plug on any dreams of the postseason.
With Russell and Green sidelined, they welcomed Portland to town, in a game that felt hopeless.
Instead, second-round pick Eric Paschall had himself an arrival. Paschall finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds, pacing six players who finished in double figures. Golden State started a late first-round rookie (Jordan Poole), a second-round rookie (Paschall), and undrafted rookie (Ky Bowman), and two journeymen (Glenn Robinson III and Willie Cauley-Stein), withstood 39 points from All-Star Damian Lillard, and genuinely looked like a good basketball team.
What a fun game.
5. February 29 - Warriors 115, Suns 99
This game isn’t quite as exciting as some of the others on the list, but it gives you some fun material to watch as you try and scout the future Warriors.
Andrew Wiggins struggled shooting the ball (6-20), but did a lot of the little things that the Warriors hope he can do consistently when surrounded by stars. He had 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Damion Lee — whom the Warriors will rely on to provide spacing off the bench when they’re all healthy — had a spectacular game, with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Dragan Bender, Mychal Mulder, and Juan Toscano-Anderson - three players fighting to make next year’s roster - all played big minutes, and played well. Marquese Chriss and Eric Paschall did their thing, and the game even featured Kevon Looney’s best game of his limited season.
If you feel like putting on your scouting glasses so you can start thinking about what the 2020-21 roster could and should look like, this is a pretty fun game.
Well there you have it, Dub Nation. Hopefully these Warriors games can help get you through the lack of Warriors games. Enjoy.