Good Morning Dub Nation,
The Golden State Warriors officially past the 50-game mark of the season after their 128-120 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. They currently stand two games above .500 with a record of 26-24 and rank fifth in a tightly packed Western Conference. Entering the 16th week of the NBA season, NBA.com released their weekly power rankings which has Golden State ranked at No. 10.
OffRtg: 113.3 (14) DefRtg: 113.4 (16) NetRtg: -0.1 (21) Pace: 103.2 (1)
The Warriors have outscored their opponents by 9.4 points per 100 possessions in 302 total minutes with Draymond Green as the lone big* on the floor, slightly better than they’ve been with him playing alongside Kevon Looney (plus-8.9 in 648 minutes). They started with Green at the five for a couple of games, but were kind of forced to play two bigs (Green plus either Anthony Lamb or Kevon Looney) over the last minute-plus of their game against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, because Stephen Curry was ejected for his distaste for Jordan Poole’s shot selection. And they survived, with Poole getting the game-winning bucket as the Grizzlies overplayed the strong side on a baseline out-of-bounds play. The champs are 7-3 in games that were within five points in the last five minutes since Christmas, after going 5-10 in clutch games prior to the holiday.
* Lone big = No Looney, Lamb, JaMychal Green or James Wiseman on the floor.
They went back to Looney in the starting lineup (instead of Jonathan Kuminga) against Toronto on Friday. But Kuminga turned the game around by draining four 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Whether they’ve started big or small, bench minutes have been much better since Stephen Curry’s return from injury (they’ve actually been better with him off the floor over those nine games) than they were prior.
The Warriors have already played 26 of their 30 games against the Eastern Conference, and 17 of their next 18 games are within the West. They’re one of nine West teams with 24, 25 or 26 losses, and they’ll face three of the other eight this week. Their most interesting test could be Thursday in Denver (they haven’t played the Nuggets since Oct. 21), though that’s the second game of a back-to-back. The Warriors are 2-5 on the road without rest, though Curry has played in only three of those seven games and Klay Thompson hasn’t played in any.
Golden State has slowly ascended these rankings after coming in at 14th entering the month of January. Recently, the Warriors seem to be gaining momentum as they currently ride a three-game winning streak. It’s also no coincidence that this surge occurs while the team is the healthiest they have been all season. With a set of back-to-back games scheduled for today and tomorrow, the Warriors can further solidfy their place in the league by coming up with big wins to finish off this three-game road trip.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Preview: Smallball Warriors face Rudy Gobert’s Timberwolves
- Warriors shut out of Rising Stars Challenge
- Steph Curry breaks another Warriors’ franchise record
- The enduring chemistry of the Warriors’ Big Three was on full display against the Thunder
- Player grades: Warriors vs. Thunder
Other Warriors News:
- Report: Matisse Thybulle linked to Golden State Warriors (SB Nation)
- Steph Curry combats ‘misconception’ about load management for NBA stars (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Dray reacts to Jaren Jackson Jr. blocks controversy + Warriors-Thunder game (The Volume)
- Klay Thompson’s return could be the reason the Warriors become title contenders (ESPN)
- Why Warriors must consider trading James Wiseman, even with the risk involved (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Power Rankings, Week 16: Sixers take over No. 1 spot (NBA)
- Everything to know about the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars (NBA)
- The Ringer’s Top 100 Players in the NBA (The Ringer)
- NBA Notebook: Myles Turner, Bojan Bogdanovic, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Bones Hyland (Hoops Hype)
- The ‘Sleepless Nights’ Index: Assessing late-game officiating favorability for every NBA team (Yahoo Sports)