Prior to the start of the season, I picked the Golden State Warriors to narrowly miss the playoffs. At the time, I thought that the Dubs’ new commitment to defense would help them improve their overall record but have them fail to qualify by a few games.  The way I saw it, Golden State would finish with a 32-34 record and sit on the sidelines while other teams managed to make the West’s top eight.

With games slated to start once again tomorrow night with the All-Star break now over, the Warriors still have a chance to win 32 games; but should it happen, it may be the greatest feat the Warriors ever pull off. Yes, more impressive than winning the title in 1975. OK, perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration, but play along.

Golden State is currently third in the Pacific division with a 13-17 record; which means that the Dubs would have to win 19 of their remaining 36 games. That doesn’t sound too difficult, mind you if we take a closer look at the schedule, well it becomes obvious that the odds are quite slim.

Indeed, 21 of the Warriors remaining 36 games will come against opponents with a record above .500. Of those 21 games, 13 of them will be on the road; and we’re talking about some tough contests here:

  • February 28th: @Indiana
  • February 29th: @Philadelphia
  • March 11th: @L.A. Clippers
  • March 22nd: @Houston
  • March 25th: @Portland
  • April 1st: @L.A. Lakers
  • April 3rd: @Memphis
  • April 9th: @Denver
  • April 11th: @Portland
  • April 14th: @L.A. Clippers
  • April 20th: @Dallas
  • April 21st: @Houston

Needless to say, the Dubs will have a tough time winning ball games in the second half of the season. The upcoming stretch of 10 games in 16 days should essentially determine the direction the franchise takes with respect to the young talent on the roster. If the Dubs are anywhere close to having a .500 record, they will continue to ride out the veterans and aim for a playoff berth. However, if the Mark Jackson’s unit loses ground in the standings, it will be time to give the young players on the team a little more burn to determine where the team is going in the next couple of years.

Golden State will surely want to know if Ekpe Udoh can be a reliable long-term option at center, if Klay Thompson can handle starters minutes and if Jeremy Tyler can be a productive NBA player. The time will also serve to evaluate if Dominic McGuire and Brandon Rush will be back with the team next season.

And obviously, the biggest question will be whether Ellis and Curry continue to play alongside each other in the same backcourt.

Last summer Monta Ellis’ name made its way into several trade rumors (Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay to name a few) and one can only assume the same will hold true should the Dubs keep him on the roster after the March 15th trade deadline. But then again, perhaps Ellis is the wrong guard to consider trading…

The second half of the 2011-12 regular season should help answer several questions going forward.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].

5 Responses

  1. JohnStizzarks

    Honestly Houston, Portland Denver Memphis Indiana and both the clippers and lakers are teams the warriors have played decent games against and believe it or not have beaten occasionally Houston Denver and the Clippers recently. I think all these games are winnable if the warriors execute offensively , play defense, build and protect the lead. Steph’s health and what he will bring to the table is important but if Jackson gets Klay involved often and early, by playing him at the wing and at point I’m excited to see what could happen. As far as our rebounding and defense, Pairing Chris Wright and Dom Mcguire could pay dividends as well, both are crazy athletes who need to play well to stay on a roster, and can play off the ball cutting toward the hoop, finishing in transition(especially C.Wright). It will take a total team effort but its not impossible, Jackson needs to stop favoring anyone on the court who’s taking bad shots and not playing d, basically hold people accountable and do his job. &well be aiight*

  2. Luis

    It’s obvious that GSW have to do a great trade to end this situation that happens in the last years. We have the best offense and even the crowd help us to win, but when we play away, we only could pray to Monta or Steph does the best game, nothing more. Ellis score a lot of points but is a contradiction in defense and at the paint. Udoh is a very promising player, but I think he is a point forward, not a center. So we need one good center and maybe a SG/SF.

    Trying at ESPN Trade Machine, I found 3 good trades.

    The best in my opinion is this: Monta Ellis to Indiana in exchange of Roy Hibbert and Paul George. An All Star center and one of the most promising players SG/SF as Paul. Indiana is a very good team that probably will be in the next playoffs and they would have 2 stars as Monta and Danny Granger ( a lot of points each game)

    The second: Monta to Philadelphia in exchange of Iguodala and Vucevic. I know Vucevic is not a star but the defense attitude of Iggy would change a lot of things to find Playoffs. Philly is a really good team and they need a SG that score points and Monta is the man.

    The third: Monta to Philadelphia in exchange of Bogut. It is a good trade but maybe we can pay to lose of Monta in exchange of nothing…

    Analizing the roster, I think it’s not bad, having included Paul George and Roy Hibbert, we would have players at all positions: 3 PG (Curry, Robinson, Jenkins), 2 SG (George, Thompson), 3 SF (D.Wright, Rush, C.Wright), 3 PF (Lee, Udoh, McGuire) and “3” C (Hibbert, Biedrins, Tyler and the injured Kwame)

    To the next season, I think we have to know the future of Rush, McGuire and Kwame… We would have to consider the signing of Wilson Chandler, a promising of a Point Forward and we have to see the progression of Jeremy Tyler..

    So I would consider the trade to Indiana, what do you think??

    • Mr. Burns

      Why in F*ck’s sake would Indiana be willing to make that trade?

  3. JT's Hoops Blog

    WARRIORS AREN’T MAKING THE PLAYOFFS: PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Talent wise, the are not even close to being a playoff caliber team. The Warriors have no front court, no inside presence and most of the team consists of guards and swingmen.