The Warriors are on a winning streak, but the last 2 games have hardly inspired confidence. While the Raptors are at least semi-competent, the Kings are not. In fact, Sacramento came into Oracle dragging basketball’s worst-ranked defense.
The result? They shut Golden State down. The Warriors hit 36 percent of their shots and had only 10 more field goals than turnovers.
Toney Douglas stuck to Curry like a car registration tag, and the team moved about in slow motion as Sacramento quit bumbling just long enough to lead with 15 seconds left. The Warriors were lucky to win this game. Though it’s nice that they opened up a high percentage corner three for Klay Thompson, the odds favored a loss as the ball left his hand.
The Warriors, as it stands, are quite likely to make the playoffs. It helps to finish with 16 of your last 22 at home. At this count, the Dubs get 14 of their next 20 in Oracle, with 8 of those home games coming against probable lotto teams.
The Lakers are 4 games back, but face a much tougher schedule. Even if Los Angeles crawls into this, Utah might fade out. The Jazz have a slippery grip on that 8th seed, having just lost a bad one to Cleveland.
So the smart bet is on Golden State finally making good on the postseason promise, even if the team has looked mediocre of late. The cushion is too big, and it’s made from tempurpedic foam.
And yet, there is the sense that something is not right. How do the Warriors not nab a single game on their Eastern road trip? How do they lose on a night where Stephen Curry hits 11 of 13 3′s? The team feels like its falling apart, even if the collapse comes too late to be considered a collapse.
In the end, this will be a successful season, far exceeding the preseason expectations of consensus. It just seems, on a night like tonight, that the success ended awhile ago.