January of 2014 was a month to forget for the Golden State Warriors.
While their 9-6 record was not horrible, they saw their playoff seed plummet down the Western Conference standings thanks to inconsistent play at home and on the road.
February was better, but not much better. Wins against Houston and Brooklyn are some positives. A last second lost to the two-time defending champion Miami Heat was a stinger, but showed that the Warriors can play with anybody. But blowout losses to Charlotte to open February and what should have been a 40-point loss but ended up as only a 20-point loss to the Bulls last week were some of the low points.
Thanks to the trade deadline, February is one of the craziest and most tumultuous month’s in the NBA calendar. A month filled with rumor after rumor of this team shopping this star player. The Warriors were rumored to be looking to move Harrison Barnes in hope of getting a true backup point guard. There were rumors that the Warriors were looking to acquire Kevin Love from Minnesota in exchange for David Lee and either Barnes or Klay Thompson. Brandon Bass and Andre Miller seemed like perfect fits for the Warriors and were linked to trades that would have helped the solve the Warriors second unit woes.
But on the night before the deadline, the Dubs decided to trade for former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake in exchange for Summer League MVP Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, who they acquired in their first deal of the season which saw them bring in Jordan Crawford. The Warriors are 4-1 since the Blake deal and the addition of the true backup point guard has seen increased production in the second unit.
Statistically the Warriors scored more points per game and player better defense. Their defensive rating was 97.8 which was almost five points then their defensive rating from January. Part of the improved defense is a result of playing bad teams such as the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons. But it is also a result of playing good team defense, rotating well and not allowing easy baskets at the rim.
The Warriors open March against the two of the East’s top three teams, the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers, respectively, in a month that includes games against the Clippers, Blazers, Grizzlies, Mavericks, and Suns.