Golden State Warriors' 5 Best Moments of the Season So Far
Obviously, clinching a playoff spot would surpass all of these to the No. 1 spot if it were to occur in the next few weeks. The franchise only has two postseason appearances since 1994 and is desperate for another.
Without question, head coach Mark Jackson has established a new culture within the team in his second year and has them playing with an effort and focus that has been absent from this team for years.
The season as a whole has been somewhat streaky filled with dominant stretches with incredible shooting, as well as woeful stretches with abysmal defense.
However, the constant throughout the season is that this Warriors team always played hard and were always fun to watch. Throughout these past 72 games, the Bay Area fans have been treated to some incredible moments.
Let's take a look at the best of them.
5. Harrison Barnes Emasculates Nikola Pekovic
Sure, DeAndre Jordan destroyed Brandon Knight. And yes, LeBron James killed Jason Terry. But Knight and Terry are 6'3'' and 6'2'', respectively. Harrison Barnes absolutely demolished Nikola Pekovic, who is a full 6'11''.
Talk about a posterization.
When the Warriors drafted Barnes No. 7 out of North Carolina, they knew they were getting an athletic wing who could score at will. But Barnes has exceeded expectations in terms of athleticism.
This was the first of many dunks this season that really showed how much hops he really has, and by far the most emphatic. Barnes sent shock waves around the league with this huge jam and really made Warriors fans excited about the team's top draft pick.
Barnes has no doubt had times where he clearly looked like a rookie this year, but he has also shown flashes of his supreme scoring ability and proven to be a capable defender. The future is bright for this young Warrior, and fans can look forward to many more dunks like this in the future.
4. Dubs Top the Spurs in OT While Debuting New Uni's
Having lost six of their past seven games heading into their Feb. 22 home game against San Antonio, the Warriors were in serious need of a confidence boost.
Coming out in their new yellow-sleeved uniforms, they were able to come away with one of their biggest wins of the year, defeating the Western Conference's top team in overtime, 107-101.
After Jarrett Jack hit a huge three-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, the Warriors just needed one stop to secure the win. They were not able to do so and a major defensive breakdown led to an easy Manu Ginobili layup that sent the game to overtime.
In OT, it was again Jack who provided the offensive spark needed as he scored seven of the Warriors' 14 points in the extra period. The Sixth Man of the Year candidate finished with 30 points total and dished out 10 assists as well. David Lee also had a big night with 25 points and 22 rebounds.
After the inspiring win over a team that has dominated them for so long, Mark Jackson made it clear just how important this victory was, stating, "We're not going anywhere. We will not go anywhere. So get used to seeing these beautiful yellow jerseys."
3. Stephen Curry's 54-Point Performance at Madison Square Garden
On Feb. 27 facing the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Curry put on an absolute clinic in the best game of his life.
The sharpshooter ended up going for 54 points on 18-of-28 shooting, including 11-of-13 from downtown. The Knicks had absolutely no answer for Curry, who looked like he was shooting in a video game.
On the previous night, he was thrown to the floor by Roy Hibbert in a fight that resulted in David Lee's suspension for the game against the Knicks. Curry came out with a fire in his eyes, obviously upset about the previous night's altercation and the fact that his All-Star teammate was out for such an important road game.
This was the game where Steph Curry truly established himself as a star in the NBA, and likely the best shooter in the world. It is a game that has sparked an extra amount of confidence in Curry since, and will be beneficial going forward as the Warriors enter the playoffs.
The only reason this incredible performance does not rank higher is because it still ended up in a 109-105 loss.
2. David Lee Named to the Western Conference All-Star Team
16 years. That's how long the Golden State Warriors went without a representative in the All-Star Game.
The streak dated all the way back to 1997 when Latrell Sprewell represented the West with the likes of John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shawn Kemp. David Lee was 13 years old at the time.
Coming into the All-Star game with the fifth-best record in the West, the Warriors were bound to get at least one, if not two players to represent the team in the coveted game.
When David Lee was officially voted in as a reserve for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, it was a huge relief to the Warriors franchise and fans. There was no longer that monkey on the team's back nagging at them for over a decade and a half.
However, the moment was a little bittersweet as Stephen Curry was widely regarded as the biggest snub from the game. When the selections were announced, Charles Barkley said on-air, "For Steph Curry not to make that team is a flat-out joke."
While it would have been nice for both players to get in, David Lee being named to the All-Star team was still an enormous moment for this team and validated both the team's success as well as the recognition they were starting to gather around the league.
1. Warriors Upset the Heat on Draymond Green's Game-Winner
Coming into the home of the defending NBA champions, everyone was expecting the Warriors' impressive four-game road winning streak to come to a humbling end in South Beach.
Not quite how it went down.
The Warriors played their absolute toughest game of the year while outrebounding, outworking and establishing themselves as the more physical team in this gem of a performance.
Having shut down the Heat over the final three minutes of the game, the Warriors found themselves with the ball on the last possession of the game with the score tied at 95. The Heat never could have guessed who would was going to score the winning basket.
After trying to set corner picks for both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Draymond Green saw a wide-open path to the basket and made the cut. Jarrett Jack found him with a perfect alley-oop pass and Green finished the go-ahead bucket with 0.9 seconds left on the clock.
The Heat were stunned. Never in a million years did they expect the rookie second-round pick to beat them on their own floor. But that's who Draymond Green is: a gamer. He doesn't care who the opponent is or how big of a situation is, he will be ready.
That's why this is the Warriors best moment from the year so far. Because it embodies the exact attitude needed once the playoffs come around. The need to be fearless and they need to be ready. Because once the regular season ends, it is going to be a whole new brand of basketball.
Here's to hoping we get a few more of these incredible moments during these final 10 games of the regular season and the playoffs.
What was your favorite moment from the Warriors 2012-13 season? Feel free to share below in the comments section.