For the first time in two weeks, the Warriors have inched up in everyone's NBA Power Rankings, albeit marginally. In spite of a four game-winning streak, critics have asked fans to hold the post-game confetti celebrations as wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, Indiana Pacers, and Sacramento Kings (all at home) haven't been much to write about.
Whether it's the easy schedule or playing a bulk of their recent games at home (or both), it's hard to give the Warriors much credit in the NBA Power Rankings week-to-week, especially after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on the road after beating them at home just a few days prior. So where do the sports media pundits have the Warriors at this week? Click on to find out.
ESPN.com gives the Warriors a generous number 19 ranking, moving 2 spots up from Week 12:
The Dubs' first four-game win streak since 2008 and two Monta daggers -- a game-winning pull-up J against Indy, then a game-tying 16-footer against Sacramento -- had to help his All-Star campaign. Or at least couldn't hurt.
NBC's ProBasketballTalk was not as nice, merely bumping them up one from the previous week to number 20. The Los Angeles Clippers, however, now sit at number 14:
Three tough home games this week - San Antonio, New Orleans and Utah - but you know Golden State will have dramatic win in one of those.
SI.com let the Warriors hold tight at 20 but offer very glowing comments about Warriors players:
Monta Ellis scores in bunches so effortlessly that it almost seems like a gimmick. And because the Warriors were a gimmicky team under Don Nelson the previous two years -- and because Golden State plays when the East Coast sleeps -- Ellis's talents aren't fully appreciated. A winning streak or extended period of solid team play would help Ellis's cause, but that's complicated by a defense with two glaring weaknesses -- a small and slight backcourt duo (Ellis and Stephen Curry) and the absence of a dominant big man to protect the rim. Forward David Lee is returning to his vintage double-double ways, but center Andris Biedrins still isn't clicking since returning from an ankle injury.
USA Today has the Warriors leap-frogging up to position number 18:
Don Nelson may be gone, but Nellie-ball is alive and well with Golden State. Translation: Until first-year coach Keith Smart can get the Warriors to play a lick of defense, expect a lot of entertaining and exciting games. Just don't expect the wins to pile up.
Finally, SB Nation shows that the upcoming week won't get any easier at home. Home sweet home? The home looks like it's going to look more like the road. Staying at #22 isn't so bad, right?
Golden State completed a five-game homestand with four wins. However, those wins came against the Clippers, Nets, Pacers and Kings. One game into a new eight-game homestand, and things don't look so promising. A Monday loss to the Spurs leads into games against, among others, the Hornets, Jazz, Bulls and Nuggets.
The Clippers operate as the perfect barometer for how cellar-dwellers (like the Warriors) need to perform in order to get respected in the power rankings. The Clippers rise up the NBA power rankings should come as no surprise given that they've won 7 of their last 10 and with impressive wins over the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Even though they have a worse record than the Warriors, mostly a result of their poor 1-13 start to the season, they clearly have outplayed the Warriors the rest of the way up until now and clearly have weathered the storm of injuries much better as well. Maybe it's a little bias towards Blake Griffin, but you can't front on the dramatic change in effort and determination that even has Baron Davis playing like its the "We Believe Era."
The Warriors ranking in the low twenties seems about right, though a few big wins this week against playoff-bound teams could change things. Where do you see the Warriors placed? Are they being unfairly judged? Should they be ranked as high as the Clippers? Or did they get that evaluation correct?