For the third time in five attempts, the Golden State Warriors went a full week without losing a basketball game. Add in the news that Klay Thompson has been cleared for full practice, and it was a darn good week in Dub Nation.
They’re still the best team in the league, and right now there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon. But as always, another week of NBA action provides another test to pass. Three tests, to be specific.
Let’s check in on the week that was, and the week that will be.
Where the Dubs stand
Standing: 1st seed in the Western Conference, 1 game ahead of the Phoenix Suns
Offensive rating: 2nd (114.6)
Defensive rating: 1st (101.3)
Net rating: 1st (+13.3)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
The week started with perhaps the Warriors most impressive win since the 2018-19 season. Golden State went on the road and demolished Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Nets, thanks to a thoroughly dominant third quarter in which they outscored Brooklyn 35-18.
The competition got decidedly easier after that, though the Dubs gave themselves a challenge in Detroit by resting Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Otto Porter Jr.
Performance of the week
Steph Curry vs. the Nets: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 12-for-19 shooting, 9-for-14 threes, 4-for-4 free throws.
In a battle of two of the league’s elite teams, which paired the top two MVP candidates (and former teammates) in Curry and Durant, it was the chef who stole the show. The lights don’t get brighter than a nationally televised game against the presumptive Eastern Conference favorite, in an MVP showdown. And Curry showed up with one of the best performances of the season for any NBA player.
Honorable mention goes to ...
Jordan Poole vs. the Raptors: 33 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-for-13 shooting, 8-for-11 threes, 5-for-6 free throws.
Poole showed off his third year leap, and took advantage of the attention Toronto’s defense was giving Curry, and turned in one of the most efficient offensive performances you will ever see.
It was just the 18th time since 1980 that a player has scored 33 or more points on 105% or better true-shooting (funnily enough, three of those other 17 instances have come from Poole’s current teammates: one each by Curry, Klay Thompson, and Nemanja Bjelica).
Highlight of the week
We love defense to offense here ...
That deserves a second look.
This week’s schedule
Just a three-game week this time around, with a pair of off days to start the week. Portland and LA will be good tests, and the Dubs are lucky to get a severely compromised Philly team.
Easiest game of the week
Wednesday vs. the Sixers.
Philly should not be overlooked. Ben Simmons has missed all 18 of the team’s games, Joel Embiid has missed half of them, and Tobias Harris and Danny Green have both missed seven. Yet even with that, the Sixers are 10-8 with the ninth-best net rating in the league.
They’re good. But they’re also working at a talent deficit at the moment, and the Warriors have a chance to try and run them off the court.
Hardest game of the week
Sunday at the Clippers.
Golden State and LA went down to the wire when they met earlier in the season, in the Dubs’ second game of the season and the Clippers’ first. Now they’ll run it back, but this time in Tinsel Town. The Clippers are finding their groove, and have been one of the best teams in the West even with Kawhi Leonard indefinitely sidelined.
They’re a test.
In last week’s review/preview, only 23% of you predicted that the Dubs would sweep the week. The majority (58%) were expecting a 3-1 outcome, with 17% thinking Golden State would split the four-game week.
How will the Warriors do this week?
This poll is closed