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The Warriors need to start more quickly.
These are the playoffs, and the Dubs won’t have any choice on who they will play next if they advance to the next round. The next opponent up will most likely be faster, stronger and more skilled.
In the first two playoff games, the Warriors got behind by large margins. The team was too tentative and didn’t set up its game plan.
Going forward, the Warriors need to be hot right from the tip. If the Dubs can take the early lead, they will force the Clippers and future opponents into trying to force plays and make them uncomfortable.
Coach Jackson needs to get both Curry and Klay Thompson in the mix early. If both of those players can get hot, the Dubs' chances of victory increase significantly.
If the Warriors can get past the Clippers, their likeliest next opponent would be the Oklahoma City Thunder, who they have had very entertaining battles with this season. If they can advance to the Conference Finals, the Spurs will probably be waiting.
It will be a great accomplishment to get to there, but they would most likely have to face the Spurs. That team is the Warriors’ “Huckleberry,” having owned Golden State since late last century.
In last season’s playoffs, the Dubs surprisingly won their first game in San Antonio since February 1997, but they couldn’t hold home court and wound up going home in six.
As referenced earlier, the team has to maximize each possession versus the Thunder or Spurs and cannot give up big leads if it wants any shot to advance. The same works on the opposite side, where the Warriors can’t fall behind by large margins or they will have a huge problem trying to crawl back.
Based on the information at hand, the ceiling looks to be the second round again for the Warriors. The team has a lot of talent, but the sum of its parts without Bogut doesn’t add up to higher-level play just yet.
Will next year’s squad include Mark Jackson? What adjustments will be made? What new players will be added to this up-and-coming team?
Those questions will all be answered once the Warriors finish this season.