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Pivot Points: The Golden State Warriors Are a Team Going Nowhere Fast

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors jumps past Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers on December 29, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 124-118. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are a team defined by contrasting numbers, and even the most impressive of those numbers have not been able to pull the Warriors out of their current downward spiral into irrelevance.

Golden State has earned the reputation as one of the more entertaining teams in the NBA because if anything is certain, bundles of points will be scored, the game will be fast-paced and energetic, and the Warriors will probably lose.

To comprehend the ability to retain a strong fanbase in the midst of perpetual mediocrity escapes me, but the Warriors do have some positives to rest their laurels on.

For one, they are second in the NBA in scoring, averaging an eye-popping 106 points per game. Who cares if they allow a league-high 112, their contests are sure to never lack for a dull moment.

Golden State is also first in the league in steals at 9.8 per contest, but they allow 8.4, which means even though they create turnovers, they are just as likely to give the ball back due to miscues of their own.

The contrasting numbers don't end there. The Warriors shoot 47 percent from the field, but give up 49 percent, they average 21 assists, and surrender 23, so I'm pretty sure you get the picture.

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Their defensive efforts are humorous, to say the least as no other team in the league gives up 110 points per game and few teams allow the opposition to shoot for such a high percentage.

The New Jersey Nets are the worst team in the NBA, and even they surrender 10 fewer points than the defensively challenged Warriors.

The Warriors do have some talented players like Monta Ellis, Anthony Randolph, and rookie Stephen Curry, but from whom do they garner direction? Head coach Don Nelson? General manager Larry Riley? Or perhaps, owner Chris Cohan?

None of them have provided much of an answer as they have for the most part, looked as clueless as the product they are responsible for has on the court.

It's a sad realization of truth for a franchise a few years removed from the postseason and a victory over the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks.

That proud moment has become a distant memory and the Warriors seem to be further from a playoff berth than ever before, especially considering they compete in the crowded Western Conference.

After their one-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night they sit firmly entrenched on the bottom level of the Pacific division, pretty much out of sight from the teams above them.

That loss to Denver is similar to recent losses suffered by the Warriors, and even wins against teams like the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns, due to the offensive potential of Golden State.

Their offense is capable of scoring against any defense, and it keeps them in a majority of games, but their utter lack of anything resembling defense has proved to be their downfall.

In order to become a better defensive team the Warriors would need to undergo a complete change in culture, with an emphasis on defense, but coach Nelson has seemed reluctant to concentrate on that aspect of the game at all.

Coupled with their lack of a strong presence in the post, the Warriors' defensive deficiencies have added up to a clear path to an undetermined destination, with no resolution in sight.

An article was recently written that said the Warriors should strive to finish above the Sacramento Kings in the standings, and currently they sit five games below that goal at nine wins and 24 losses.

That aspiration alone defines how far the Warriors have fallen and the realistic chances they have of emerging from the quicksand their fleet feet have been unable to keep them from being mired in.