With two games left before the NBA All-Star break, the Golden State Warriors are 19-16 and hold the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Led by Stephen Curry, the Dubs have started to come together as a team and seem to be more comfortable on the court. This is especially true on the defensive end. Over the first month of the season, Golden State ranked 19th in defensive rating.
Since then, Steve Kerr’s squad has managed to jump to fifth in the NBA in defensive rating and second in opponents’ field goal percentage. Although they have been inconsistent throughout the schedule, the Dubs could be a tough out come playoff time.
“Steph is Steph, he’s going to do his,” Thompson told Burke. “But the rest of those guys, if they step up and be more consistent from three, and Draymond [Green] keeps doing his Swiss [Army] knife job, doing everything for the team, the Warriors are going to be a threat. They’re going to be scary in the playoffs.”
Curry has been his usual MVP-self this season, ranking No. 2 in the NBA in scoring. He’s averaging 29.5 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 41.3 percent from deep.
Golden State ranks 12th in 3-point percentage, and that’s with Kelly Oubre Jr.’s rough start to the season when he shot just 24.2 percent over the first 19 games. Draymond Green is flourishing as the main facilitator on offense and ranked second in the league in assists for the month of February.
The Warriors are only one game out of fifth in the Western Conference, and that’s with Green and prized rookie James Wiseman missing 16 games combined. Golden State’s strength of schedule is in the middle of the pack as it tries to get into the top six to guarantee that the team will play at least one playoff round.
The Dubs need to put together some winning streaks if they want to climb up the standings. They have only won three games in a row once all season but also haven’t lost three in a row as well.
Because of Curry’s presence, any team that plays the Warriors in the postseason will have its hands full. Steph has the ability to go off for 40 on any given night, and if the Dubs can get consistent output from Green, Oubre and Andrew Wiggins, they have enough to make some noise in the playoffs..
On to some links:
Former Warrior Richard Jefferson went 1-1 against the Dubs in the NBA Finals during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He says Golden State deserves to be blown out for its “historically disrespectful” behavior during his five-year run of dominance. (Cavaliers Nation)
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has been very complimentary of the Warriors this season. He believes the Dubs will make the league pay with a healthy Klay Thompson next season. (NBC Bay Area).
Oubre has been much better in recent weeks after his terrible start to the season. Brad Botkin of CBS Sports explores if Oubre could be a long-term fit with the team as he plays the final year of his contract.
With the second unit struggling to consistently produce, what can Kerr and general manager Bob Myers to upgrade the unit? NBC Bay Area’s Kendra Andrews says recalling Jeremy Lin could be an option.