As I recover from feasting all weekend, the Golden State Warriors have completed their first month of the season. After an incredible comeback victory against the Toronto Raptors the Warriors stand at 11-8, good enough for second in the division and seventh in the conference. So after a month, are the Warriors the team we spent all off-season anticipating or was last year a flash in the pan?
Out of the gate, the Warriors were flying high. They beat some top teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, and ran a number of teams out of the building, leading by nearly 30 in each of their first few home games. On the road they were able to beat up on weaker teams and went to the wire against the Spurs. Excitement was running high to start the season.
Then, the ghost of Warriors’ past seemed to rear its ugly head. Warrior players began missing games in bunches including Steph Curry (ankle bruise, concussion), Andre Iguodala (hamstring), Tony Douglas (leg), Jermaine O’Neal (groin, knee) and Andrew Bogut (suspension). The Warriors started losing more games and questions about how good this team really is began to flood in.
So a month in who are this season’s Warriors? Perhaps it is the optimist in me, but when healthy, this team will be a top competitor to win the West. Their first two games with the Thunder make it look like a playoff series that would be a surefire 7-gamer. At full strength, they are a juggernaut at home. They have also hung tough on the road.
The Warriors depth has been tested and they are solid into their second unit but struggle if the end of their bench is depended on for big minutes. Jermaine O’Neal is filling in for Carl Landry admirably and Harrison Barnes is one of, if not the best, sixth men in the league. Add in the defense of Toney Douglas, and the Warriors’ do not have a gaping hole where Jarrett Jack once played.
This is an incredible Warriors team; it may be the most entertaining in the NBA. Their depth is being tested early, but so far the Warriors, like The New Kids on the Block, are hangin’ tough.