City Sports Report

The Golden State Warriors Are Fool’s Gold

Thompson and Curry are an exciting duo. But they need more than these two to make it. (photo courtesy of www.thesportsquotient.com)

The Golden State Warriors currently hold the best record in the NBA’s Western Conference at 39-8. They seem to have it all going for them. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson aka the Splash Brothers have been wrecking shop this season. Both are ticketed for the All-Star game and are combining to average 46 points per game this season. And youngsters like forwards Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are beginning to come into their own as players, replacing veterans Andre Iguodala and David Lee in the starting lineup. The team is playing at a high level under first-year coach Steve Kerr and looks to be a major player come playoff time. In the tough Western Conference, some see them as one of the favorites to make it out of the West. But if you really break them down, the Warriors might not make it as far as everyone thinks. In fact, they may be Fool’s Gold.

The Warriors play a fast-paced brand of basketball on the offensive end of the floor. They do more scoring via the three-pointer and finishing on the fast break than anyone. Their style of play is very conducive to stacking wins when it comes to the regular season. But playoff basketball is a little bit different than regular season basketball. The pace of the game seems to slow down and defenses become a little tighter when it comes to closing out on shooters and contesting any and all shots. When they happens in the playoffs, a team usually has someone they can go to and get an easy basket. Whether it be a guard like Michael Jordan in the post for the Bulls, Tim Duncan in the post for the Spurs or LeBron James in the post for the Miami Heat during their title runs, each team that won it all had one person they could call on in the post that could make it happen and get that easy basket they needed. With the Warriors, they have some veteran big men and of course Curry and Thompson, but where does an easy bucket come from when the game slows down? The closest thing to players the Warriors have to get them easy buckets in the post are David Lee, Marreese Speights and Andrew Bogut. In Lee and Speights you have guys that can knock down a jump shot with some consistency at times and can finish at the rim. But both are players that are not known for their post games at all. Both are known more as face-up jump shooters and finishers. And in the playoffs, that will be limited and cannot be counted on. As far as Bogut, he is an underrated defender and a big key to what they do on the defensive end of the court, but he is not the most dependable guy on the offensive end. And it also does not help that Bogut cannot be depended on to stay healthy either.

Now on the defensive end of the court, the Warriors are excelling and that is great to see. Curry and Thompson are excellent defenders on the perimeter. The backline of the team is also strong when Bogut is in the lineup as well. But again, the physical play may be something that can hurt them going forward in the playoffs. In recent games against the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls, the Warriors were exposed inside for what they lack. Sure, Bogut was not there and healthy, but Bogut cannot play the full 48 minutes either. Going smaller has not helped them in the aspect of controlling other team’s big men. In fact, the Bulls had Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah combine for nearly 40 points in the paint and Noah is not the most gifted offensive player out there. He just used his size and his grit and moved the Warriors defenders out the way. The return of Bogut will be an answer there and will pick up some of the slack, but that has to be a concern when you trot out there Draymond Green at the power forward position and Speights at the center position at times when Bogut is injured. In the playoffs, defensive stops are great, but they mean nothing if you cannot secure the rebound. And with the Warriors having some issues getting rebounds the last few games, they may want to solve the issue of how to rebound better as a team. If they do not solve that, teams like San Antonio and Memphis can easily exploit the weaknesses they have. That problem could mean an early exit if not resolved.

Living by the jump shot and having issues with big teams is not something that you want to have a problem with heading into the playoffs. Many teams have some issues to work out as the final third of the season approaches. But for the Golden State Warriors, the old adage comes to mind with them: “You live by the jumper. You die by the jumper.” The tandem of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry can make great things happen. But they can only be part of the equation for the Warriors. Essentially the Warriors need someone to step up and get those easy baskets in the post for them and someone to step up and be a deterrent on the boards besides Bogut.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me out on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

5 Comments

  1. Jason

    February 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Good article but I don’t think their fools Gold….. Bogut has to stay healthy of course. With the Warriors it’s their good… “But”….just going to wait and see, but I understand the criticism. Good job Mike.

  2. RLCooper

    February 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    This team is way different than the run and gun teams of the past. the first major difference is 3ball isn’t their only trick or calling card. GSW has great shooters that make 3s but the majority of the 3s they take and make are the end of amazing ball movement and often they are shooting wide open shots. 2nd GSW defends and rebounds well. While this team as no pure stoppers what they do have is great team chemistry and trust and no matter which group is on the floor the team defensive game rarely has let downs. 3rd – when the playoffs start there are no many teams that match up well to their shooters and runners so GSW doesn’t have to make changes to the style they play. I believe they will be able to continue to play the same style of ball throughout, its going to be up to their opponents to find a way to match the scoring output

    • Mike Patton

      February 5, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Defenses tighten up come playoff time. Not so sure their style will hold up. Live by the jumper die by the jumper is not conducive to winning titles.

  3. ASR

    February 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Good article but they can manufacture points in the paint. The key indicator for GSW is can they win a mentally tough series when they average score is 86-82? There were will be no blow outs in the 2nd or 3rds.

  4. Jason

    February 11, 2015 at 12:26 am

    They just not a jump shooting team anymore……folks still think the Thunder are better and they have no inside presence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>