The New Year week was odd for the Golden State Warriors, who sandwiched a postponed game with one of their worst performances of the year and one of their best. But no one cares too much about what happened last week, because it’s what will happen this week — or rather, what might happen this week — that is sending goosebumps up our arms.
Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson is what might happen.
We’re at the time of the year where Thompson has been projected to return. He won’t play in Monday’s game, and the Dubs have already said he’ll return during a home game, which rules out Wednesday and Thursday.
But Sunday? We just might see him then. And imagine just how wonderful it will be.
With that excitement and splendor covered, let’s jump into the week that was, and the week that will be.
Where they stand
Standing: 1st seed in the West (0.5 games ahead of the Phoenix Suns)
Offensive rating: 7th (112.6)
Defensive rating: 1st (103.2)
Net rating: 2nd (+9.4)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
The week started in truly awful fashion for the Dubs, as they mustered a paltry 36 first-half points against the Nuggets, despite being home and playing against a mediocre defense.
But from that point on it was a brilliant week. Golden State outscored Denver by 21 points in the second half, nearly pulling off a sensational comeback. That carried over into Saturday’s game when, on the road, against the team with the best net rating and offensive rating in the NBA, and sans Draymond Green, the Warriors strung together an impressive win to stay atop the West.
In between those two affairs, a rematch against Denver was postponed, as the Nuggets were unable to field the league minimum of eight players. Presumably that game will be made up for at some point.
Performance of the week
Steph Curry vs. the Jazz: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block, 8-for-18 shooting, 6-for-12 threes, 6-for-7 free throws.
The Warriors offense takes a hit without the playmaking of Draymond Green, and it took Curry some getting used to. He struggled at first against Denver, making just one shot in the opening half. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that he made his first three-pointer, which was just his second made shot of the game.
But then he started to figure it out, and against the elite Utah defense, Curry went to work. He sprung free for open shots, was able to draw a handful of fouls, and expertly pulled the defense away from teammates who he then fed for open looks. It was an expert performance.
Honorable mention goes to ...
Andrew Wiggins vs. the Jazz: 25 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, 9-for-19 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 3-for-7 free throws.
Wiggins had a strong performance as secondary scorer against Utah, which the Warriors needed since Jordan Poole only played 17 minutes in his return to action. It was also another nice defensive game for Wiggins, who teamed up with Gary Payton II to hold Donovan Mitchell to just 4-for-19 shooting.
Highlight of the week
Vintage Andre Iguodala. It never gets old.
This week’s schedule
Monday: vs. Miami Heat (23-14), 7:00 p.m. PT
Wednesday: @ Dallas Mavericks (18-18), 4:30 p.m. PT
Thursday: @ New Orleans Pelicans (13-23), 5:00 p.m. PT
Sunday: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-16), 5:30 p.m. PT
It’s a four-game week, with a pair of road games bookended by a pair of home contests against two of the Eastern Conference’s best squads. Even if Klay Thompson doesn’t return on Sunday (please return on Sunday, Klay), it’s a schedule that offers lots of opportunity for excitement.
Easiest game of the week
Wednesday at the Pelicans.
It’s been a rough year in NOLA, as the Pels are tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for 13th in the West — only the Houston Rockets have a worse record in the conference. Zion Williamson has yet to play a game this year, and Brandon Ingram has missed nine games with injury.
Ingram, who is dealing with Achilles pain, is questionable to return to the Pelicans on Monday, meaning he’ll probably play against the Warriors on Wednesday, but might not. And even if he does, he may be a little rusty.
It’s a game the Dubs should pick up.
Hardest game of the week
Monday vs. the Heat.
Given the injuries that Cleveland is dealing with, Miami is comfortably the best team the Dubs face this week, even if All-Star center Bam Adebayo remains sidelined.
Miami is one of the most well-coached teams in the league, has a two-way star duo in Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry (which becomes a trio when Adebayo is healthy), and carries a dynamite stick that can win them a game on any given day in Tyler Herro.
They’re a hot and cold team, which has been exacerbated by their current roster availability issues, but they can beat anyone, on any night.
In last week’s review/preview, 731 readers voted on how the Warriors’ week would go. Of those 731, zero guessed correctly! Which is probably due to the fact that the Warriors only played two of their scheduled three games, and I didn’t really provide an option for that.
Let’s try again.
How will the Warriors do this week?
This poll is closed