The Events That Drastically Changed the Course of Golden State Warriors' Season
Usually, the ride that the Golden State Warriors take is a roller coaster that starts high and goes only down.
However, this year has been filled with more ups and has made for an exciting ride.
We’ve finally gotten to see what Stephen Curry can do in a full healthy season as the go-to guy. He has performing amazingly.
David Lee played well enough to make the All-Star team, and it’s been 15 years since a player from this franchise achieved that status.
And despite injuries to key players, Andrew Bogut and Brandon Rush, Mark Jackson can say that in his first full year of coaching, he guided a perennial lottery team into the playoffs.
It's been an exciting year to be a Golden State fan. Here is a look back at the key events that have made the Warriors' 2012-2013 season a thrill ride.
Getting Their Lottery Pick
The Warriors are probably the only team in NBA history to win the lottery without actually winning it.
Golden State owed the Utah Jazz a first-round draft choice, more details here (via NBADraft.net), but because they finished in the bottom-seven picks of the 2012 NBA lottery, they were able to keep their pick to fortunately select Harrison Barnes.
Not only is he a promising talent, but his presence allowed the Warriors to trade Dorell Wright for Jarrett Jack. He has been a valuable addition for them to say the least.
Jack’s presence was also a precursor to Carl Landry joining the Warriors—which you could say also worked out.
Injuries Came Earlier Than Expected
If healthy, the Warriors were supposed to reach the playoffs.
They knew Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry were injury risks as both were coming off surgeries and that they were likely to miss some games, but they couldn’t have expected to lose Brandon Rush in just the second game.
Luckily, Curry stayed relatively injury-free, and the Warriors were able to overcome Bogut and his all-too-often game-time status. But Rush was a blow.
They have rallied around him, but we will never know how much better the Warriors season could have been had he been healthy and in the lineup.
Harrison Barnes' Dunk
This one was fun.
While the Warriors were on their way to becoming a hot commodity, this little number happened on Nov. 25.
This dunk nearly broke Twitter, and it put the Warriors on the highlight lead. It was a sign that exciting things were going to happen for Golden State this season.
Paired with actually winning games, the Warriors were becoming something to talk about positively.
Warriors Have an Historic Road Trip
After the Warriors first long road trip, you could see that this season was going to be very different.
Starting Dec. 5, Golden State was facing a seven-game, 10-day road trip, which would include a stop to play the Miami Heat.
Not only did they defeat the defending champions, they ended up winning six games—which was over half of their road victories from all last year.
This winning road trip really set the tone that things were going to be different.
A Not-so-Forgettable Losing Streak
As good as their first long road trip was, their second was a disaster.
Starting with a loss to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 4—in which they gave up 140 points, but not the team three-point record—the Warriors ended up losing six straight games on their way to a 3-10 record in a 13-game span.
As ugly of a stretch of games that was, outside the home victory over the San Antonio Spurs there was another bright spot.
David Lee's All-Star Appearance
The Warriors finally got their first All-Star of the 21st century (that's as long as you can make it sound) in David Lee.
He has had a fantastic season and was rewarded with his second All-Star appearance.
Lee, finally and rightfully, put his name among the elite power forwards in the game. Stephen Curry likely should have been an All-Star as well, but one is better than none I guess.
Unveiling the New Short-Sleeve Jerseys
They did beat the Spurs on Feb. 22, in their new Adidas sponsored short-sleeved jerseys, but is that enough to bring them back permanently as an alternate jersey?
The Warriors are starting what could be a trend, and they do make them stand out.
But they are not the best-looking shirts in the world, so I'm not completely sure how I feel about them?
Either way, they happened.
I'm curious. Does anyone like these jerseys?
Steph’s Big Night
Stephen Curry owned the night of Feb. 27 in the NBA as he hit 18 of 28 shots including 11 of 13 from beyond the arc. Also, lost in that his performance is the seven assists he had to go with it.
It was a beautiful thing to watch.
The only thing that left a bitter taste from that night is the fact that they lost. But really, who remembers that part of the night?
Andrew Bogut Returns for Good (We Hope)
March 4 marked the still ongoing return of Andrew Bogut into the Warriors rotation.
Golden State was likely to make the postseason without him, but now, they have a chance to do something when they get there.
It took him a while to get into form, but since his return the Warriors are plus-112 (via NBA.com) while they have been holding teams to a 41.9 shooting percent from the floor.
With Bogut anchoring the defense, there is no telling what the Warriors glass ceiling is, but things are looking up with him in.
Warriors Clinch a Playoff Berth
With a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 9, the Warriors will finally be back into the postseason.
With any luck, it will be a repeat of the 2007 NBA playoffs, their last appearance, where “We Believe” was the mantra as they upset the No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks. The best part of this is that all the players are healthy, including Andrew Bogut, who is becoming the player the Warriors were hoping for.
Although, no matter what happens in the playoffs, this has been a successful season for the Warriors. At the very least, this core will get postseason experience, and hopefully, this will be a sign of bigger things to come.