March 19th State of the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors (39-30) have won four-of-five games and bounced back from the rut they were in previously.
There was a stretch where it seemed entirely possible that the Dubs might in fact completely miss the postseason but those fears have slowly dissipated with the Warriors playing a much better brand of basketball in the last week.
After failing against teams with winning records for roughly over a month, Mark Jackson’s group has rebounded and defeated two playoff teams in the last eight days.
In spectacular ways no less.
In typical Rock fashion, Stephen Curry and company dropped the smack down on the New York Knicks (39-26). In a game held at Oracle Arena on March 11th, the Dubs routed the Knickerbockers by 29 points.
Less than a week later, Golden State went on the road and finally defeated a Houston Rockets (36-31) that tortured them earlier in the season with three victories. The Davidson product was brilliant in the outing, leading his Warriors to a 30-point drubbing of Houston.
The only thing missing was this sensational Rock line:
“Thou shall layeth the smacketh down”
It’s worth noting that Golden State suffered an appalling 18-point defeat at home courtesy of the Chicago Bulls (36-30) on March 15th. Nonetheless, the Dubs are playing some good basketball at present time.
The Hollinger Power Rankings rate them as the 15th best team in basketball right now.
At this point in time, the postseason seems like a mere formality. But the remainder of the schedule will more than likely determine the seeding. Let’s have a quick look at how it shapes up:
- Games left: 13
- Home games left: 9
- Road games left: 4
- Games versus opponents with .500 record or better: 6
- Games versus opponents with sub-.500 record: 7
According to the Hollinger Playoff Odds, the Warriors now have a 96.3 percent chance of making the postseason.
After spending the bulk of the season with a negative scoring differential, the back-to-back blowout wins on the road against the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets (22-46) have elevated the Dubs’ scoring margin to plus-0.4.
It ties them with the Boston Celtics (36-30) for the second lowest figure amongst teams projected to make the postseason. But it’s certainly an improvement.
In addition, they Hollinger Playoff Odds’ simulations have the Warriors finishing with 46 wins and the sixth overall seed in the Western Conference standings. Should the records in the conference hold for the remainder of the season, Golden State would face the Los Angeles Clippers (46-21) in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs.
Warrior of the Week
His omission from the Western Conference All-Star team looks more laughable with each passing week. Stephen Curry has been a terror for the remainder of the league since the mid-season classic as evidenced by his 54-point extravaganza at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks last month.
The Davidson product has literally been lights out for the Dubs and led them to not only some great performances, but he’s also been the catalyst for them all.
In the last week, Steph’s played five games and averaged 24.8 points, 5.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game on 49.4 percent field goal shooting and 52.4 percent 3-point field goal shooting.
Consider this: Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant will probably own the backcourt spots on the All-NBA 1st Team and Dwyane Wade will earn a spot on the All-NBA 2nd team. That leaves Curry in a battle with Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook for the second guard spot on the All-NBA 2nd team.
With Parker missing roughly about four weeks of basketball, Curry might essentially only have to duke it out with Westbrook. Should he fail there, an All-NBA 3rd team selection seems almost inevitable.
Oh the irony.
Stephen Curry has a more than legitimate shot at being recognized as one of the six best guards in the NBA despite not playing in the All-Star game.
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