Last week was a weird one for the Golden State Warriors. They won the week, but they looked pretty bad for most of it. Most concerning, however, was Klay Thompson sitting out of a game that he was scheduled to appear in due to soreness in his knee.
All of our fingers and toes are crossed that Thompson is just fine, and that he’s back on the court soon to help the Dubs find their mojo once more. They get to stay at home for the second straight week to try and find said mojo, so things are looking up.
Speaking of looking, let’s look back on the week that was, and look forward to the week that will be.
Where they stand
Standing: 2nd seed in the West, 3.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns
Offensive rating: 16th (110.9)
Defensive rating: 1st (103.6)
Net rating: 3rd (+7.2)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
Tuesday: Beat the Detroit Pistons 102-86
Thursday: Lost to the Indiana Pacers 121-117 (OT)
Friday: Beat the Houston Rockets 105-103
Sunday: Beat the Utah Jazz 94-92
It was a weird week for Golden State. A 3-1 jaunt through the week is a success every time, but the Dubs used a beatdown of an awful Detroit team, and an impressive grind-it-out win over Utah to bookend two truly horrid performances. A home loss to an Indiana team missing Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and TJ Warren was downright inexcusable, and only a Steph Curry buzzer-beater kept us from dwelling on how poorly the Dubs played against a 13-win Houston team that has the fourth-worst net rating in the league.
But 3-1 is still 3-1, and the Warriors ended it on a high note, besting one of the two teams that has a better net rating than they do, and doing it without Klay Thompson or Draymond Green (though it’s worth noting that the Jazz were without Donovan Mitchell).
Performance of the week
Steph Curry vs. the Pistons: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 6-for-11 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 2-for-2 free throws.
Curry has been struggling something fierce with his jump shot lately, and it’s been a little rough to watch. But against Detroit he was efficient and precise, picking his spots, making his shots, and sending the Dubs to the halftime locker room with the outcome already decided.
Honorable mention to...
Jordan Poole vs. the Jazz: 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 7-for-13 shooting, 4-for-9 threes, 2-for-2 free throws.
With Curry and Andrew Wiggins struggling their way to a combined 27 points on 11-for-37 shooting (including 2-for-18 from three-point range), Poole picked up the slack and was Golden State’s best player in a gutsy win over one of the league’s best teams.
Highlight of the week
Steph Curry has had a lot of game-winners in his career, but now he can cross off “buzzer-beating game winner” from to-do list.
SC CALLED GAME#BigShot pic.twitter.com/ZBnugxbHln— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 22, 2022
While that was Curry’s first career buzzer-beating game winner, it was his eighth career game-winner. Three of those eight have come against the team that Golden State starts the week against.
This week’s schedule
Tuesday: vs. Dallas Mavericks (27-20), 7:00 p.m. PT
Thursday: vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-23), 7:00 p.m. PT
Saturday: vs. Brooklyn Nets (29-17), 5:30 p.m. PT
The seven-game homestand concludes this week, and my goodness that’s a lot of fun players. Luka Dončić, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, James Harden ... it should be a good time.
Easiest game of the week
Thursday vs. the Wolves.
Minnesota has been quietly figuring things out, and have won seven of their last 10 games ... a stretch that includes a double-digit victory over Brooklyn, and a 20-point win over the Warriors (admittedly without Steph Curry and Draymond Green). During that time they’ve seen their net rating rise to 12th in the NBA, ahead of, most notably, the Chicago Bulls.
In other words, don’t overlook them. They can be a problem. It’s just that Dallas and Brooklyn are more likely to be a problem.
Hardest game of the week
Tuesday vs. the Mavs.
Saturday is the game that feels most notable, as the Nets are a behemoth. But with Kevin Durant injured, and Kyrie Irving refusing to
do the bare minimum for public safety get vaccinated, the Dubs are really just facing James Harden and a cast of slightly misfit role players (I believe that Irving is ineligible to play due to San Francisco’s vaccine mandates, though the rules have been unclear). Which, admittedly, is neither a fun nor an easy task.
But the Mavericks present a more difficult problem to solve, as they’ve begun to figure things out following a very slow start to the season. Dallas has won 11 of their last 13 games, a stretch that includes wins over the Warriors, Bulls, and Denver Nuggets, and twice over the Memphis Grizzlies.
They’re heating up.
Three games, four potential outcomes for the week. Let us know what you’re expecting!
How will the Warriors do this week?
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