This is Town Business: Lock in, Dub Nation
Just in case the NBA didn’t get the memo, the Golden State Warriors are now on a seven game winning streak. Remember when Stephen Curry talked about building good habits and “stringing together a nice little run“?
Ever since December, the team talked endlessly to the media about gaining momentum, focus and running off some wins. But constant inconsistent play, made those words hollow. It took a James Harden game winning shot on Jan. 3rd to wake up the Dubs.
They knew they had no business losing to their conference irritant and, consequently, the run is here. As Golden State look to extend the streak to eight tonight against the Los Angles Lakers, heres are some observations.
Defense still looking for consistency
After coasting during the first half against the Clippers, Golden State nursed a one point lead at the half. However, the defense turned up the intensity in the second. They held the Clippers to 33 percent from the field at game’s end.
Two nights earlier, the Pelicans came in to Oracle and cracked the Dubs for a 17 point lead in the first half. Why? For one, Curry has a nasty habit of reaching on defense and he got into early foul trouble. Already with one foul, he slapped Anthony Davis on the arm, picking up his second foul in the first quarter. Curry’s foul trouble screwed up the rotations, and the Pelicans pounced.
On one hand, the Warriors have been inconsistent on defense. On the other, they played their best defense of the season against the Nuggets. Everyone knows about the 51 point first quarter, but what stood out to me in the quarter and throughout the game was their defense on Nikola Jokic. I saw constant double teams, denying passing lanes and stops. That same defensive energy was constant throughout the game. Granted, I know there will be some nights when energy wavers but it can’t let that hinder the need to be consistent defensively.
Focus is present
The Warriors erased a 17 point lead to beat the Pelicans last week, and what we remember is Curry scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter. Before the Curry flurry, the Warriors showed poise and continued to chip away until a go ahead and-1 by Andre Iguodala gave Golden State the lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We wouldn’t have won this game a month ago,” Warriors Coach Steve Kerr told the Athletic, “We’re in a different place now.”
That different place could be taking the rest of the season more seriously. Golden State knew good and well that they had no business blowing a 20 point lead and 6 point lead against Houston. They knew that this was the game that got away, and they were seething. As a result, the Warriors began their streak against Sacramento and finding a way to win against Dallas. After the Mavs, the Dub’s blew out the Knicks, Bulls, and finally the Nuggets in a statement game. In each of those games, the Warriors show grit and resolve and played with purpose.
Draymond Is Back
Eversince his return from toe injury, Draymond Green struggled to get back to form. All Green could do is just rehab his toe and he was not able to participate in basketball related drills. Opposing defense took advantage of Green’s rustiness and constantly employed the “forget about Dray” defense. They would overplay passing lanes, run Curry and Thompson off of the three and dare Green to shoot.
As we all know, Green isn’t a scorer. He’s a facilitator. So, obviously, Green was going to struggle. The Warriors have countered in recent games with Kerr using Green increasingly as a screener. In addition to the screens, Green has been handing off passes for easy buckets.
Not to mention, Green is not settling for jumpers. He is attacking the paint. Since Green facilitates more often than not, pick and roll sets with DeMarcus Cousins would be interesting.
Week 9’s Town’s Finest goes to none other than Stephen Curry. For the week, Curry averaged 37 points per game. Not to mention a three game streak with eight or more three pointers. His 23 point fourth quarter helped the Warriors in their comeback against New Orleans.
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