The Golden State Warriors were celebrating their improbable run to Larry O’Brien Trophy not too long ago. The team has some polishing to do if they want to have puncher’s chance with the most important stretch of the season coming up. This year has been difficult for last years NBA champions, contending with injuries and finding the right chemistry with their newer pieces. The Warriors have more up-side than one would think despite how it may appear on the surface presently.
Sticks & Stones
The glaringly apparent issue the Warriors have been dealing with are injuries to key players. Stephen Curry has been unavailable since February 9th due to several small fractures in his left leg. The absence of such a dominant force would be felt on any team.
Draymond Green has been sidelined with a minor knee injury, but the team has reason to air on the side of caution. Knee and achilles injuries are usually the trickiest and most lingering issues to deal with on the basketball court.
Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II recently missed time but will be returning relatively soon for a playoff push, helping the team to get back into familiar form. Curry is expected to return as soon as the upcoming week. Wiggins timeline is unknown but reportedly he will return sooner than later. Green’s return will likely be expected to be similar to Curry’s.
A Warriors Way Back
The team is flawed without question. The Warriors record is a straight up 30-30. What is perplexing about the Warriors is their home versus away record. The Warriors home record is 23-7 while their away record is totally inverted at 7-23.
The answer is complex and takes many turns. The Warriors lost important personnel at the forward position in the offseason which helped to mask the absence of a suitable frontcourt. This has been a weakness since head coach Steve Kerr arrived. There have been improvements here and there but the team still leans on Kevon Looney too much.
The biggest strength for Kerr over his tenure is forming a roster to create match-up issues for the opposition. Kerr was one of the first small-ball innovators which the league immediately emulated. The four-time NBA champion coach has adapted certain aspects of the triangle offense from his mentor Phil Jackson. This strategic move has led to the most prolific scoring we’ve ever seen.
The remaining stretch of the Warriors schedule is not as tumultuous as many of the other teams in the Western Conference. That is not to say that it is smooth path for the organization. The West has the most stacked collection of star-studded rosters in the league, however that has never been a hinderance in the past. There is no reason to count out the Warriors just yet.
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