The Warriors slide down the SB Nation Western Conference Power Rankings yet again. This week they sit at the #13 slot which is actually fitting considering that they have only been able to beat the two teams of the Western Conference ranked below them (Timberwolves #14, Sacramento Kings #15). The Los Angeles Clippers move up to number #12 and I bet it's mostly because of Blake Griffin's highlight worthy dunks that make them a sexier than the Warriors.
Just kidding. But if that was true, I would am in total agreement.
Since last week, the Warriors lost two additional players in Andris Biedrins to a sprained left ankle and Dan Gadzuric to a strained groin. As I mentioned from my eye witness account from the player's parking lot, both drive very nice cars. But even without these two bigs, I'm not entirely sure the Warriors WOULDN'T have floundered at home against the Houston Rockets and then again on the road versus the Portland Trailblazers mostly because their constant turnovers on outlet passing and failure to convert fast break opportunities. Shocking statistic that Marcus Thompson II reported in conversation with Coach Keith Smart last week was the astonish differential in attempts and then conversion of fast break scoring opportunities (unfortunately, I can no longer find this article. Apologies). The last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter versus the Rockets on Monday night was a perfect example of the classic mental meltdown: turnover, fastbreak, foul (and 1) and then rinse and recycle!
Until the Warriors figure out how to minimize these issues, I'm not willing to put them any higher than where they are. The Warriors face once again the Portland Trailblazers (#8) at home and I suspect another loss given how careless they have been with the ball. Dante Cunningham looked more like the Randall Cunningham of basketball given how effective of a scorer he was. The Warriors also take on the Philadelphia 76ers (#7, Eastern Conference) on Monday. The 76ers have begun to play some better ball as of late. Jodie Meeks made Evan Turner look like he should have been a second rounder rather than the second pick. But after a few scintillating games, Meeks has come back down. I suspect the 76ers to win this one. While the matchup may favor the Warriors given their height, you can never bet on the Warriors for a win...even if it is at the Oracle.