Splash Bros. Prove Playoff Readiness


With yet another win last night, the Golden State Warriors find themselves with 64 wins and 11 games separating them from the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies. Generally teams try not to look too far ahead, but with only three games remaining and the best record in the NBA secured, the Warriors’ sole focus at this point of the season is getting themselves ready for postseason play.

And if their 116-105 victory over the Portland Trailblazers was any indicator, Golden State is going to continue being a thorn in the rest of the NBA’s proverbial side.

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We all know how dominant the Warriors have been all year. We know Stephen Curry is an MVP frontrunner. We know that Klay Thompson has blossomed into the best two-way shooting guard in the league. And we know that the Warriors have more depth than any team outside of perhaps San Antonio.

But somehow, every night we see these facts on display, it makes the Warriors’ status as title contenders seem more valid and consequently, every time we see Golden State eviscerate one of the NBA’s elite teams, it seems more unlikely that anybody is going to be able to win a series against them.

Against the Trailblazers last night, Golden State won the same way they’ve been winning all  year– the Splash Bros. In high scoring affair that fit right into how Golden State style of play, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shined, combining for 71 points and 11 three-pointers. And while those numbers are jaw-dropping in and of themselves, it was Curry and Thompson’s ability to take over the game individually for stretches at a time that was truly impressive.

After hitting only a single shot in the first nine minutes of the second quarter, Klay Thompson poured in nine consecutive points during a 78 second span, nailing a deep three before converting on back-to-back and-one opportunities. This came after the Warriors found themselves down by 13 points midway through the quarter and gave them the momentum to turn their deficit into a three point halftime lead.

And Curry, who’s perhaps the best closer in the game, finished the Blazers off with gut-punch after gut-punch over the last half of the fourth quarter. Over the last seven minutes of the game, Curry outscored the entire Blazers team by himself, 19-17 and went 7-7 from the field including two three-pointers that brought his record breaking total for the season to 276.

But in between those runs of individual brilliance, Golden State proved once again why they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

Curry and Thompson certainly stole the show, but Golden State’s depth and balance are what eventually helped them pull away with the game. In the opening quarter, seven Warriors hit a field goal and for the seventh time this year, the entire starting five scored in double figures. If Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson weren’t draining jumpers, then Harrison Barnes was finishing at the rim, Andrew Bogut was embarrassing Robin Lopez in the post or Draymond Green was cleaning up the on offensive glass.

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And even though Golden State attempted 26 three pointers, they didn’t shy away from attacking the teeth of the defense either. While Portland often settled for long-range LaMarcus Aldridge jump shots, Golden State remained aggressive and finished with 58 points in the paint as well as 34 fast break points to Portland’s seven. When Portland went through cold spells, it was compounded by the fact that the Warriors never took their feet off the gas pedal.

The Warriors moved to 55-15 all-time when Curry and Thompson both score above 20 points and if that record is any indicator, the Splash Bros. are going to be more than ready for anybody they face this postseason.

Next: Stephen Curry: Changing History, One Three at a Time