After getting swept with four losses on a four game road trip, the Golden State Warriors look more vulnerable than they have at any point during this season.
Even when Andrew Bogut was still recovering from his ankle injury he had since before being acquired by the Warriors, the team never looked as weak as they have lately.
Bogut may still be recovering from the injury but even with the 20-25 minutes per game (22.1 average) he has been given, the Warriors look weaker than they ever did when he couldn't play at all.
The Warriors have one more game before the All-Star break and that game is against the team that put an exclamation mark on this four-game losing streak. That one last game before the break is against the Houston Rockets, who dropped an NBA record-tying 23 three-pointers on the Warriors last week.
A win against those same Rockets will instantly stop the bleeding and give the Warriors a sense of revenge going into the break. It will be better to have won the last game before the break than to lose the five games before it.
Even if the Warriors were to lose that fifth straight game, that wouldn't mean the season is a lost cause. The Boston Celtics are the best example of how a great team can have hot and cold stretches in a season.
Also, the Warriors should be much better once Bogut has his minutes limit removed and Jarrett Jack returns from his injury as well. Jack has not only been a sixth-man of the year choice this season, but also a great locker room leader as well.
The bright side here is that the Warriors just have to win and not worry about any other team in the Western Conference standings. If the season were to end today, the Warriors would be the sixth seed in the west, earning their first playoff spot since the 2006-07 season.
It's easier to protect a lead than it is to fight back from behind. And for the Warriors, they are protecting a lead. It would be nice to move up in the standings, but the Warriors can't get too greedy. A playoff spot for now would be just fine.
The Warriors shouldn't be worried about playing road games in the playoffs anyway. While it is always nice to be the home team, the Warriors have one of the better road records in the NBA this season.
For the first time in a long time, the Warriors control their own destiny.