With 28 games left and the Carmelo Anthony trade fully fleshed out, the Warriors now enter the Western Conference chase with possibly one less foe in their way to that last playoff spot. With a shortened week due to the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend Festivities, the Warriors lone win took a backseat to the excitement of the two Warriors not named Monta Ellis to highlight the Saturday night events.
In only the bizarrest of situations would the Warriors lead the season series 3-0 over the Jazz. Of course, a little luck goes a long way too. The Warriors faced a downward spiraling Utah Jazz squad in Salt Lake City. A win is a win, but you get the feeling a lot of these "big" Warrior wins deserve some qualification before we jump on the bandwagon once again. Even with a full Jazz roster (they beat the Jazz prior without Deron Williams out with injury), the current Jazz squad was and still is in the midst of turmoil with their star guard receiving a lot of distracting media attention for his alleged leadership in forcing long-time coach Jerry Sloan to resign. But if road wins are hard enough for the Warriors, even against non-playoff teams, then I suppose we should still rejoice.
Stephen Curry joins a list of Warrior guards of recent past to star at the NBA All-Star stage. Like Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas before him, Curry took home some hardware for the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, facing the top point guards in the league. Even during the challenge, though, Stephen Curry, according to Warrior fans over at Golden State of Mind, had time to get his mack on (see clips). There's no denying Curry is a charmer, but is this bordering on Mark Sanchez' territory?
Dorell Wright did not fare as well as his teammate, narrowly missing the final round of the 3-Point Shoot Out. Wright began the first round netting four points in the first rack, but then finished strong in the last two racks. Paul Pierce eliminated Wright with his last shot, a 2-point money ball to beat Wright by one point (12-11).
Seeing two Warriors in "skill"-based challenges is somewhat odd to see given that I rarely think of the Warriors as a team with skills as opposed to underdeveloped "raw-talent" or "athleticism." And seeing Warriors represented at the All-Star game didn't necessarily make me think the Warriors are destined for the playoffs, but rather that they might be a better put together squad than previously expected. I will go out and say it that this team is a not a great team by any means. But with a little bit of luck (more injuries to star players on opposing teams?) these Warriors may have a chance to make a splash come April.
With 28 games left, do the Warriors have what it takes right now to get to that coveted 8th playoff spot? And if they get there, do we really want to see them get trounced by the San Antonio Spurs in 3?