It’s time for the second half of the season, which is admittedly a rather funny way of looking at things. After all, the Golden State Warriors have already played 59 games, and have just 23 left on the schedule.
But the All-Star break is such a clean way to divide things, and “second half of the season” rolls off the tongue much more smoothly than “final 28% of the year,” so here we are.
The Dubs enter the second half on a slide, but still in tremendous position. So let’s take stock of things, remembering the week that was, and looking forward to the week that will be.
Where they stand
Standing: 2nd in the West (6.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns, 1.5 games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies)
Offensive rating: 13th (112.1)
Defensive rating: 1st (105.8)
Net rating: 3rd (+6.3)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
Monday: Lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 119-104
Wednesday: Lost to the Denver Nuggets 117-116
Friday: Jonathan Kuminga and Team Payton lost the Rising Stars Game
Saturday: Juan Toscano-Anderson finished second in the Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday: Steph Curry and Team LeBron beat Andrew Wiggins and Team Durant 163-160
The Dubs limped into the All-Star break, dropping both games of a two-game week. First they got mollywhopped by a Clippers team that was absent the bulk of their top players, and then they gave up a cozy lead at home to Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets, losing at the buzzer when Steph Curry left Monte Morris wide open for a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
But the weekend brought happier times. It was rest and relaxation for 12 of the team’s players, while five others had exciting events: Kuminga was a late addition to the Rising Stars Game, which he should have been in all along, and got to show off on a national stage; JTA was a bright spot in a lackluster Slam Dunk Contest, wearing some gorgeous Mexico-themed gear and attempting to recreate an iconic Jason Richardson dunk (in a J-Rich jersey, no less); and on Sunday, Wiggins made his All-Star debut, Draymond Green showed off his on-air skills while working the Inside the NBA broadcast, and Steph Curry obliterated the All-Star Game three-points record while taking home MVP.
Just like that, last week’s games are forgotten. Maybe.
Performance of the week
Steph Curry in the All-Star Game: 50 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 17-for-30 shooting, 16-for-27 threes.
Curry had one of, if not the greatest performance in All-Star Game history. He nearly broke the previous record for threes in the first half alone, and obliterated it with 16 — seven more than the prior All-Star record, and two more than Klay Thompson’s record for an NBA game (a further reminder as to how absurd that record is).
He came within two points of setting the All-Star Game points record, and it’s now where I remind you that the record is held by a 6’10 player (Anthony Davis) — in a game defined by a lack of defense, it’s a lot easier for a big man to score than a three-point shooter.
Also, a pair of blocks! In the All-Star Game! Way to go, Steph.
Honorable mention goes to...
Draymond Green in the Inside the NBA broadcast.
There weren’t many performances of note in the team’s real games last week, so here’s a shoutout to a tremendous sideline performance, which was full of hilarious content, and also highlighted just how highly regarded Dray is among other NBA players.
He could do with laying off on teasing Rudy Gobert for crying, but...
Highlight of the week
When a player makes 16 threes in a game — an exhibition game or otherwise — I highly recommend watching all 16.
This week’s schedule
Thursday: @ Portland Trail Blazers (25-34), 7:00 p.m. PT
Sunday: vs. Dallas Mavericks (35-24), 4:30 p.m. PT
The schedule makers are easing the Warriors back into action out of the gates. After seven straight off days the Dubs get to kick things off against a skeletal Portland squad, then get rewarded with two more days off before returning home to face Dallas.
And then the season buckles down a little bit. The Warriors may only have 23 games remaining, but they have both a four and a five-game road trip left on the schedule.
Easiest game of the week
Thursday at the Blazers.
In theory, the Blazers should be an easy game. Damian Lillard is still hurt, and they traded away CJ McCollum and Norman Powell at the deadline. They’re well below .500, and have a number of issues.
On the other hand, they won four straight games entering the All-Star break, and they weren’t exactly easy ones, as the Blazers collected Ws against the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Memphis Grizzlies. And it looks as though there’s a decent chance that Anfernee Simons is the greatest player in NBA history.
So while the Warriors should win this game, Portland could be a very rude host. They have it in them.
Hardest game of the week
Sunday vs. the Mavs.
That leaves only one game left to choose from, and I’m opting for the team with the winning record and the Luka Dončić.
I feel a sad revisiting last week’s review/preview. 61% of you predicted a 2-0 week, while 35% thought the Dubs would split their two games. Just six of the 159 responders were pessimistic enough to make the right vote.
Let’s try again, and this time let’s reward optimism!
How will the Warriors do this week?
This poll is closed