Potential Disasters That Could Ruin Golden State Warriors' Season
First, it was the injury to Brandon Rush. Then, Andrew Bogut was lost for most of the season. Then, came the short-sleeved jerseys, and now the Golden State Warriors are enduring a stretch where they have lost 12 of their last 17 games.
What else can go wrong?
And you don't need me to tell you that is not a great spot to be in, just hope it doesn't get to their level.
With the NBA playoffs just within reach, here are potential disasters that might derail the rest of Golden State's season.
The Status of Andrew Bogut
In and out, in and out—just pick one or the other. What Bogut has been offering the Warriors right now with his come-and-go play isn't helping the team a whole lot.
Injuries have kept him from becoming an integral part of this Warriors squad. Yes, they can only be at their best when he is healthy, but with his "will or won't he be available" status, Bogut is really messing up the team's chemistry. Especially watching how he has been maneuvering on the court.
This should be simple. If he is healthy, play him. If he isn't, why bother?
Sure, having him at 70 percent even helps their interior defense, but not at the cost of disrupting the flow of the team. Let the guys who can actually get up and down the floor receive the playing time.
Figuring out how to handle his situation will be tricky over the next 18-plus games.
We discussed Rush and Bogut, but what happens if Stephen Curry goes down again? And since when did David Lee become a game-time decision every night?
The Warriors can still make the playoffs if Bogut never plays a game again, but if Lee's knee keeps bothering him, the Warriors don't have anyone that can replace what he does. Same goes for Curry and his ankle—nothing can limit these two from playing at their top level.
If anything serious or even minor happens to either one of these two guys, the Warriors might be hoping to win the NBA draft lottery in May.
Mark Jackson's Inexperience
Mark Jackson was once in the discussion as the NBA Coach of the Year.
No really, he was.
Earlier, he had the Warriors playing solid defense while leading them to a 30-17 record.
Now he finds himself clinging to a 2.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot and potentially his job with just five wins since February 5.
The slide is understandable; while he is in his second year of head coaching, this is his first time coaching in this kind of atmosphere. Last season at this time, his team was not winning basketball games, to say the least; now he finds himself in the middle of a playoff race in March. It's a new spot for him as well as most of the team.
The collective inexperience of Coach Jackson and the rest of his team may be their ultimate demise. The kind of basketball they are playing right now is not exactly playoff-ready. Jackson needs to get Golden State playing defense again while the Warriors limit their turnovers.
Their Remaining Schedule
Yes, they are playing 12 of their last 18 games at home, but look at the competition.
Half of their games come against teams that are .500 or better, which includes 10 games against teams still vying for the playoffs.
Even the so-called "easy" games are anything but. They face the New Orleans Hornets twice, and Monty Williams has his team playing hard until the final buzzer. They play the Phoenix Suns on the road and the Sacramento Kings always play Golden State tight. Even the Washington Wizards are playing better basketball than the Warriors right now.
The final stretch is not going to be easy. Just because they are playing at Oracle doesn't mean they will be able to just limp into the playoffs. Their schedule may very well might knock them out.
Their 1st-Round Opponent
If the Warriors' goal at the start of the season was just to make the playoffs and that happens, mission accomplished.
But what kind of taste is this season going to leave if they get swept in the first round?
Yes, the Western Conference is loaded, but how much better did the Warriors actually get by simply making it to the postseason?
How excited should you be if solely making the playoffs just meant that the Warriors beat out the Utah Jazz, who are in a bigger tailspin than they are? Or if they simply finish ahead of the Portland Trailblazers, who currently have nine road wins? Or even beat out the Dallas Mavericks, who have played most of the season without their superstar Dirk Nowitzki and with Darren Collison at point guard?
Making the playoffs would be nice, but it would be even better to perform well on a nationally televised stage. The Warriors really need to get things in gear right now and avoid any potential disaster. If they don't, the next set of "We Believe" t-shirts should come with a question mark.