The Golden State Warriors closed out Christmas Day with a physical 105-103 statement win over the Los Angeles Clippers that provided a needed morale boost to the season.
This game was probably the best we’ve seen the Warriors this season as they truly played team basketball in capturing the win. It seemed like everyone showed up to play with four out of the five starters scoring in double figures and the bench production stepping up with Harrison Barnes leading the second unit with 14 pts.
We truly saw Warriors basketball last night and the team that we were expecting to see on the floor when the season tipped off. We saw a team play grind-it-out defense and brought a physicality that has been missing on both ends of the floor all season. It was almost as if the Warriors hit a boiling point with all of the frustrations mounting up in the season and finally made a statement of, “no more, this stops now!” with their physical play. Even the ejection of Draymond Green and scuffles of Andrew Bogut with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul were pleasant sights to see because it showed the team was finally fed up of being pushed around.
The Warriors have been hearing it all season from the media, including myself, about how they’ve fallen off and are not an elite team this season. We finally saw this criticism manifest itself where they literally punched one of the heavily-favored championship contenders in the face to say “We’re just as good as everyone else,” and it will be a dog fight once the playoffs start.
The Warriors desperately needed this type of physical game to awaken themselves from the mediocre play that Warriors’ fans have been seeing most of the season. The victory allowed them to come together with their play on the floor and strengthen their sense of brotherhood by having each other’s backs in the brawls. It will truly be interesting to see if the Warriors can use this victory as a turning point and rip off a couple of winning streaks before the All-Star break in February.