Aside from a late collapse during their season opener on Christmas night, the Golden State Warriors have been playing well, taking down two Eastern conference playoff contenders at Oracle, and handedly at that. It’s still very early, but the Mark Jackson experiment might actually be working.
One thing that is noticeably different from last season already is the bench, and I don’t just mean the new faces. Under Keith Smart the W’s reserves were often lackadaisical, but now bring energy and efficiency, especially guys like Brandon Rush and Dominic McQuire. The addition of Kyrylo Fesenko and Kwame Brown will also have a big impact as well, as the Warriors now have five players 6-10 or bigger, and are definitely more athletic.
The other thing I’m noticing is the fact that players seem to be playing within themselves more, they have their assignments and they are sticking to them. Smart never seemed to get that from the players, never had much consistency. And now that they have some confidence under their belt, the W’s will have one more game on their opening homestand before heading out for a three game roadie the first week of 2012.
The W’s didn’t get those big splash names during the offseason, but they’ve got guys that are playing within their roles and getting the job done. Let’s see if this can hold up throughout the season, especially away from Oakland.
For more on the Warriors, head over to Golden State of Mind.