Monday nights throttling of the Cavs marked the halfway point of the season and the Warriors find themselves at the top of the Western Conference at 35-6. So what have we learned about this team halfway through the season?
The big 4 era started off with a rough start losing by 29 points on opening night vs the Spurs. The next 3 games they won but, continued to struggle as they were still trying to get used to each other. The worst lost was the 6th game of the season when they lost to the rebuilding Lakers 117-97. The Warriors had a rough shooting night and they struggled to stop the young Lakers.
They were rolling
After the Lakers lost they were on a roll winning 12 straight games including a 43 point blowout of the Lakers. They were rolling until the James Harden and the Rockets came into town ending the Warriors win streak in a double overtime win. The Warriors couldn’t stop James Harden and Ryan Anderson. 4 days later Klay Thompson dropped 60 points vs Indiana.
The West is the Best
The Warriors have struggled against the best teams in the west and they know that it’s not going to be a cake walk to the NBA Finals. They are 0-4 vs the Spurs, Rockets, and Grizzlies. They’re 0-2 vs the Grizzlies and the last game they blew a 24 point lead and lost in OT at home. To get to the Finals they will likely have to get through 2 of these 3 teams.
Keep the ball moving
The Warriors are averaging 32.6 assists in their 35 wins, but only 24 assists in their 6 losses. 119.6 pts in the wins vs 106.7 pts in the losses. More ball movement leads to more scoring. Late in games they tend to go away from the ball movement which leads to contested jump shots resulting in misses. This was evident in the comeback losses to the Cavs and Grizzlies.
No Bogut; No Problem
When the Warriors traded Andrew Bogut to the Mavs there were a lot of questions regarding rim protection and interior defense. The Warriors are ranked first in the league in blocks with 6.2 blocks a game. Kevin Durant hasn’t been known as a rim protector, but he’s answered the challenge by all the critics and I’m pretty sure assistant coach and defensive guru Ron Adams has a lot to do with it. Draymond Green has become a defensive monster. Game after game Draymond has come up with a big defensive stop late in the game.
The best is still to come, this isn’t the finished product
They’re playing great and it’s fun watching them, but they’re aren’t there yet. Look for them to start clicking going forward. The rematch vs the Cavs lit a fire under them and their playing with a lot of confidence. Look for them to build momentum this week when they face the Thunder and Rockets. We’ve seen glimpses of how great they can be, but they still need to clean it up and they are still learning and finding out what roles they have. As individuals they are very good basketball players, but as a team they’re great and the way they play with the ball movement and the unselfishness is a thing of beauty. Also look for them to move some pieces before the trade deadline. They’ve got room to strengthen the bench with a trade or maybe find a hidden gem in the D-League.