After a few weeks of trade talks that had fans choosing sides between Team Monta Ellis versus Team Stephen Curry, this week was more about the actual game. The Warriors had the weirder of weeks, unexpectedly beating two playoff bound teams in the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder. But between those two surprising wins was a blowout at the hands of the Phoenix Suns on the road with the Warriors reverting back to the team that you never thought could, would, or should ever beat the Nuggets or the Thunder, regardless of who was available (Chauncey Billups was out for the Nuggets).
It's the same story as it's been for weeks. Imagine going to 6-Flags Great America (or whatever theme park is near you) and since no one's around, you get to ride each ride like 10 times (yes, even the Vortex or Top Gun). Anyway, by the 10th time, you're probably predicting every turn and whiplash moment. You're bracing yourself for the pain and you know it's coming so it's no surprise. By the end of that 10th trip, you find bumper cars pleasing. Well, that's how these "defining" Warrior games feel that the Warriors keep having week-to-week after stumbling when they probably shouldn't be. The excitement is all gone because you just know what's going to happen next and it isn't pretty.
In the previous week, the Warriors stopped the Bulls and MVP candidate Derrick Rose -- frustrating him into 9 turnovers -- but proceeded to let the Phoenix Suns, a team with a far worse record and arguably worse of a bench, steamroll them with 13-three pointers. Well, this week began and proceeded just like the previous week, with the Warriors letting Channing Frye look more like the more determined power forward that he used to back up in Portland in LaMarcus Aldridge. The Suns shot over 50% from the field and made 12 3-pointers, one less than the previous time they met the Warriors.
With the Warriors of late, they're either really good or really bad. And versus the Suns, you know they were really bad. But when it was good, it was rainbows, sunbeams, and flowers. Against the Thunder, Monta and Curry combined for 56 points and 20 assists against 4 turnovers. David Lee snapped out of a short funk, scoring 23 and grabbing 19 boards. Udoh played 27 minutes and set some great screens, one huge weakness of the Warriors if you haven't noticed yet. In the Nuggets game, the Warriors shot over 50% from the field and from 3-point land. At least we know what the recipe to the Warrior success is?
After witnessing these three games (or bits of them at least), I echo San Francisco Examiner's contributor Tim Liota, who today said regarding the Warrior's recent play:
They are so far from being any good, so far from threatening teams that are championship contenders. A winning streak here, or a nice win there, sure, but this team feels light years from the championship conversation.
The Warriors are worse than a team in need of a new start. They're a team lacking a place from which to start. Pin their problems on Don Nelson, who left them in September with this team possessing less than a mismatched roster. He left them without any combination of players that could legitimately serve the Warriors' uniform as the hope for a new beginning.
What do you make of the Warriors recent inconsistencies?