This week, the Warriors close out what was supposed to be the “a-ha!” moment of their season. Beginning January 12th, the Warriors played 13 out of their 14 games at the Oracle, which was meant to be the time that the Warriors climbed out from below .500. After beginning the homestand 8 games below .500, the Warriors have improved their win-loss disparity by one win.
This was not how it was supposed to happen, everyone thought.
This week, the Warriors close out their homestand with four home games against a team featuring one of the NBA’s current frontrunner for the MVP award, two teams that the Warriors can never beat, and a team that the Warriors will most likely beat. What to expect? I say a 1-3 week, punctuated by intensifying trade talks. Luol Deng, anyone?
That team they will most likely beat is the Milwaukee Bucks whose record is, of course, worse than the Warriors (slightly). The game should be filled with hype given the nature of the matchups between Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry, darlings of last season’s rookie class. Jennings, however, was slowed down by a foot injury and, well, we all know about Curry’s recent uptick in scoring and confidence. In typical fashion against a wayward team from the east (or Midwest, actually) playing out of their time zone, we can expect the Warriors play the exciting brand of basketball that we’ve known them to do since Don Nelson’s first tenure as coach. But from the looks of it, the Warriors fans are not fooled by simple wins and desperate confetti shenanigans.
The Warriors needs wins. Specifically wins over good teams. Heck, not even good teams; just teams better than them, like the Phoenix Suns (who they meet on Monday February 7). Marcus Thompson II and Tim Kawakami had a Twitter debate with fans recently, which started with discussions about Stephen Curry’s value in the open trade market and for the team. Except it suddenly turned into a debate whether or not Steve Nash’s career is over. In case anyone is wondering, he is averaging the same stats as he has been for the last 6 seasons. He might not be as quick as he used to be, but he’s a crafty veteran who put up 13 and 16 last time the Warriors and Suns met.
The other two games against the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets, I assume will be instant losses. With or without stomach ulcers and back problems, Derrick Rose’s will to dominate is perfect reason why he’s in MVP-talks this time of the season. They’ve won 8 of their last night with wins over Orlando, Dallas, and Miami (though these were all at home). The Denver Nuggets still have Carmelo Anthony and him, alone, will be why the Warriors won’t win this game. Another team with too much height, strength, and speed will run the Warriors out of the building like they did last time the they came to town and posted up a 17 point win.
At least there is the Super Bowl this Sunday to break up some of this Warriors monotony?