24 weeks down, one week to go. It’s time for the final week of the regular season for the Golden State Warriors.
They enter it with a little bit of momentum, and a whole lot to fight for in the standings. So let’s dig into the week that was, and the week that will be.
Where they stand
Standing: 3rd seed in the West (1 game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks)
Offensive rating: 18th (112.6)
Defensive rating: 3rd (107.8)
Net rating: 6th (+4.9)
Team ratings are garbage-time adjusted, courtesy of Cleaning The Glass.
It was only a .500 week for the Dubs, but they should be encouraged by the way they played. After a disastrous start in which they lost by 28 to the Grizzlies (though admittedly they rested Draymond Green and Klay Thompson), the Warriors rebounded by going to-to-toe with the best team in the league, the Suns.
They suffered a disappointing loss, but a back-and-forth-affair with the best team in the league, when you’re down your best player, is at least encouraging.
Then the weekend came and Golden State traded moral victories for actual victories. An absurd comeback against Utah gave the Dubs a win over the team they’re currently in line to face in the first round ... again, without Steph Curry. That will give them a lot of confidence if they match up in a week and a half.
And then they eliminated the Kings from playoff contention, which is always fun.
Performance of the week
Jordan Poole vs. the Suns: 38 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 11-for-22 shooting, 7-for-15 threes, 9-for-10 free throws.
No one could ever replace Steph Curry, but damn if Poole isn’t giving it the old college try. He tied his career high against Phoenix, which boasts one of the league’s best defenses. He scored in every possible way, and in a game featuring Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Chris Paul, and Devin Booker, he was the best player on the court.
Honorable mention goes to...
Klay Thompson vs. the Jazz: 36 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 14-for-28 shooting, 8-for-17 threes.
It wasn’t just the gaudy scoring numbers, but the amount of clutch shots Klay had as the Warriors overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Utah.
And it served as a reminder as to how Klay can be, and how big of a weapon he is in the postseason.
An extra honorable mention to Andrew Wiggins and Nemanja Bjelica for their performances against the Kings.
Highlight of the week
For all the Warriors embarrassment of talent riches over the last decade, it’s been a long time since they had someone who regularly did stuff like this:
I love watching the bench start to celebrate as the play is still unfolding.
This week’s schedule
That’s who the Dubs play.
With San Antonio being on the back end of a back-to-back, it’s a pretty light schedule for Dallas. The Warriors are one game ahead of the Mavs, but Dallas has the tiebreaker. So whatever Dallas does, Golden State has to match, or else they’ll fall to the No. 4 seed (which, honestly, doesn’t make a huge difference).
Easiest/hardest game of the week
I don’t know!
Normally I pick an easiest game and a hardest game, but this week it’s simply too hard to pick. They all seem equally easy/hard. All three teams have similar records, and all three are scrambling as the season comes to a close — the Pelicans and Spurs are the last teams in the play-in tournament, and the Lakers are the first team out, but not yet eliminated.
The Lakers are the worst team (how wild is that to say?), and it’s the only game at home, but do we really feel comfortable saying that LeBron James, in what essentially amounts to an elimination game for LA, is going to be an easier out than the Spurs or Pelicans?
The Spurs have been the best team of this bunch by net rating, and the team that’s played Golden State the hardest ... but the Dubs will be on the back end of a back-to-back against the Pelicans, and will be tired and potentially resting players.
There’s no right answer. Three equally easy/hard games.
People were feeling pessimistic in last week’s review/preview, as only 29% expected a 2-2 week ... with 44% thinking the Dubs would go 1-3, and 15% thinking they’d go 0-4.
Let’s try it one last time.
How will the Warriors do this week?
This poll is closed