Following a vastly disappointing season last year, coach Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors have flipped the script. The Dubs have jumped out to a 22-11 record, and they’re not just beating pushovers.
Key Warriors wins include beating the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks (twice) and Los Angeles Clippers (twice). A major reason for their great success falls squarely on the shoulders of superstar guard Stephen Curry.
Not only is Curry playing at an All-Star level, but he’s knocking on the door of MVP consideration for leading this Golden State squad. The Warriors won just 23 games all season last year, and so far this season they already have 22 W's.
Curry is leading the team in points per game (20.1), assists per game (6.5) and steals per game (1.9). He’s finally healthy following a slew of ankle problems last season, and he’s carrying the Warriors with his tremendous play.
Unfortunately, outside of double-double machine David Lee, the Warriors don’t have enough firepower to compete with the Western Conference elite this season.
There’s no question that Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry headline a solid second unit. However, injuries and growing pains experienced by young players point to evident flaws with this Golden State team.
The Warriors have certainly been bitten by the injury bug so far. Despite Curry’s health (knock on wood), Andrew Bogut has played in just four games with no time table for return, and Brandon Rush tore his ACL in the second game of the season (he’s done for the year).
The Warriors needed the young guns on the roster to step up in a big way, and although the team is winning consistently, the youngsters haven’t performed as well as they need to for a deep playoff run.
Festus Ezeli has taken over as the starting center for Coach Jackson in Bogut’s absence, but he’s still an extremely raw basketball talent. He doesn’t receive many minutes (just 15.7 per contest) and provides basically nothing on the offensive end (2.8 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting).
With the injury to Rush, sophomore guard Klay Thompson and rookie forward Harrison Barnes needed to step up. Unfortunately, Thompson is shooting career-low percentages across the board compared to his rookie year (including a woeful 40.2 percent from the field). In addition, Barnes is averaging just 9.1 points per game and doesn’t add much on the defensive end.
Down the road I love this team’s collection of youth and talent. However, Curry simply doesn’t have enough weapons around him to win on the highest stage this season.