The Golden State Warriors have not jumped out to the start that many believed they would prior to the beginning of the 2013-14 season. They’ve played incredibly inconsistent basketball as evidenced by their results in three games against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Back on November 9th, the Warriors got manhandled falling to the Grizzlies in Memphis by 18 points. Only 11 days after their first matchup, the Warriors fell in overtime to the Grizzlies without Stephen Curry and held the Griz to a mere 88 points in that loss. Then in early December, the Warriors trounced the Grizzlies, defeating them in Memphis by 26 points without Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors know that they can compete with the best teams in the league. But Monday’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats (10-11) made some question just how legitimate of a threat this team is. Head coach Mark Jackson though was not concerned even after his team’s first loss to a team with a losing record, “We feel real good about where we’re headed. We’re gonna be fine.”
He’s right, the Warriors will be fine.
For their sake, they should be thankful that the postseason doesn’t start tomorrow as injuries to Iguodala, Draymond Green, and Jermaine O’Neal all could spell trouble in the Warriors chances of obtaining a top three seed in the challenging Western Conference, but when April rolls around if Iguodala and the rest of the Warriors are healthy, then the Dubs will be a force to reckon with.
The Warriors’ injuries have hurt them. The Warriors were 8-3 in their first 11 games of the season and are 4-7 in their last 11. Injuries to Iguodala have limited the team’s versatility. Iguodala allows the Warriors to switch on defense with ease; he can play point guard when star Stephen Curry needs to be spelled, and he is actually shooting 48 percent from three, which is way up from his otherwise porous 33 percent career average from downtown.
Green and O’Neal have shown very nice flashes. But the bench without Iguodala in the lineup is very shallow. On Monday night, Green played 18 minutes and O’Neal played 16. But after that they received almost no production. Marrese Speights, Kent Bazemore, and Toney Douglas combined for only five minutes of action.
Klay Thompson has made a leap in terms of productivity; he is no longer just a mere shooter, but is a much improved well-rounded scorer. Thompson is averaging 22 points per game and is shooting a better percentage from three and the field.
The Warriors play host to Dallas and Houston later in the week, two teams that defeated the Warriors earlier in the season. While these seemingly significance games should mean something, they are not a good representation of what the Warriors could be, but rather what they are without their best wing defender. Ideally that’s not the team that will lead the team into the postseason.
Six of the Warriors next eight games are at home, where the Warriors play incredibly well, so expect the Warriors record to improve during these next two weeks.