Last week was all about Klay Thompson for the Golden State Warriors. We spent all week anticipating his potential return, then all weekend getting excited once we knew it was official, then all of Sunday night sitting happily in front of the TV watching him once again play basketball.
But this week is about getting back to business. On paper, it just might be the hardest week of the year for the Dubs. It’s four games, three really good teams, and four cities ... none of which are San Francisco.
They’ll have to be on their best behavior to have a strong week, and they’ll certainly be hoping that Klay feels fully back in the fold quickly.
Now let’s dive into the week ahead, and the one behind.
Where they stand
Standing: 1st seed in the West (tied with the Phoenix Suns, but currently hold the tiebreaker)
Offensive rating: 14th (111.3)
Defensive rating: 1st (102.8)
Net rating: 2nd (+8.5)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
It was a funny week for the Dubs, as they beat the two best teams on their schedule and lost to the two worst ones. That’s just how it goes sometimes, especially since Steph Curry and Draymond Green both rested with injuries against NOLA.
They certainly ended the week on a high note though, besting a game Cleveland team in Klay’s return.
Performance of the week
Klay Thompson vs. the Cavs: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 7-for-18 shooting, 3-for-8 threes.
How could it possibly be anything else? In terms of strict value provided on the court, Klay didn’t have the performance of the week. But watching him make silky threes, off-balance pull-up mid-rangers, and aggressive dunks, after two and a half years and multiple major lower body surgeries, was one of the best things we’ll ever watch on a basketball court.
Honorable mention goes to...
Jordan Poole vs. the Heat: 32 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 12-for-17 shooting, 5-for-9 threes, 3-for-5 free throws.
With Klay not yet back, and Steph Curry struggling his way to a 3-for-17 night, Poole picked up the star guard scoring duties with an absolutely majestic performance against one of the league’s peskiest defensive teams.
Highlight of the week
I mean ... come on. It’s Klay. It’s all of it. From before the game, to during the game, to after the game.
"This is a night I will never forget." pic.twitter.com/y7OtqctiWp— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 10, 2022
the most wholesome game ball delivery pic.twitter.com/3pvWec6h2D— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 10, 2022
This week’s schedule
Yikes. That’s a terrifying lineup, isn’t it? Four road games in six days, featuring three teams that are top-four in their conference, and one back-to-back.
But the Dubs seem to like a challenge, so...
Easiest game of the week
Sunday at the Wolves.
This one doesn’t require much explanation. The Warriors face a team 15 games above .500, a team 12 games above .500, a team 10 games above .500, and a team that’s exactly .500.
You do the math.
Hardest game of the week
I truly can’t choose between Tuesday at the Grizzlies and Friday at the Bulls.
On the one hand, Chicago has the better record, and the best record of anyone in the NBA other than the Warriors and Suns. On the other hand, the Grizzlies are currently on a nine-game winning streak.
On the one hand the Bulls are only one loss removed from their own nine-game winning streak. On the other hand, the Grizzlies have played the Warriors better than just about anyone over the last calendar year.
On the one hand the Bulls face the Warriors on the back end of a back-to-back, which means Golden State will be tired and likely to rest some combination of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. On the other hand, the Warriors might not rest their players, and we already know that Green will be absent in Memphis.
And on the middle hand, they have virtually identical net ratings, achieved in very similar ways (Chicago is No. 5 in offense and No. 12 in defense, while Memphis is No. 4 in offense and No. 13 in defense).
So I’m copping out. I can’t pick.
This is pretty funny, but of the 114 people who voted in last week’s poll trying to predict the Warriors record for the week, only one voter chose the correct outcome, a 2-2 week. Nearly everyone else was optimistic, with 61% predicting a perfect 4-0 week, and 38% thinking the Dubs would go 3-1.
Let’s try again.
How will the Warriors do this week?
This poll is closed