State of the Warriors: April 15
The Golden State Warriors (45-35) had a good bad week. In the last six days, the Dubs have lost two of their past three games, which should be synonymous with disaster except for one thing: their lone victory in the last week gave them a postseason berth.
On April 9, they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves (30-50) and officially became participants in the second season.
They followed up the win with a brutal defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder (59-21) on national television. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook used the contest to remind the Western Conference that all paths towards the Finals go through them.
It wasn’t quite a statement game, but it was fairly close.
On April 12, the night following the humbling defeat to the Thunder, Golden State was at Staples Center for a clash with the Los Angeles Lakers (44-37). That contest was a difficult one for the Dubs.
Aided by a defense that kept hacking away, the Lakers paraded to the free throw line 50 times. And yet, the Warriors should have won that contest. They consistently created high percentage shots but managed to forget they had the best shooter in the world playing for them in that night.
The head-to-head final battle with the Purple and Gold is remembered for entirely different reasons though. It will now be referred to as the contest where Kobe Bryant went down. The superstar ruptured his Achilles heel in the game and is projected to be sidelined for six-to-nine months.
Despite his status as an adversary, there’s still a healthy amount of respect for the Black Mamba and it prompted me to give him his just due as a divisional foe.
The last week of basketball should concern the fans and the team ever so slightly. Per NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, the Warriors had the sixth worst defense in the league in the past six days. That’s hardly something worth being proud of entering the final days of the season.
The Dubs’ remaining regular season schedule consists of two games:
- April 15 (tonight): San Antonio Spurs (58-22)
- April 17: @Portland Trail Blazers (33-47)
These games still matter. The Warriors have slipped to the seventh seed in the Western Conference standings. This means that they would open up the playoffs against the Spurs at present time.
Mind you, if they win out and the Houston Rockets (45-35) lose one of their remaining games, they would jump back up into the sixth spot and likely face the Denver Nuggets in a seven-game series that might be played at 100 miles per hour.
So again, for the purpose of seeding, the contests are semi-important.
Warrior of the Week
Stephen Curry has owned this spot a lot this year and that’s a testament to his value to the team. His performance against the Lakers on April 12 was nothing short of brilliant. But sadly, his 47 points simply weren’t enough.
Nonetheless, he is the Golden State Warrior of the week His scoring and playmaking continue to be sensational as evidenced by his averages of 31 points and 8.7 assists per game on 50 percent field goal shooting and 46.7 percent 3-point shooting in the last three contests.
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