In the past four games the Warriors have gone 2-2, however; the level of play has been much better than their record indicates. On Monday, they had plenty of chances to beat San Antonio, but faltered in the end to lose in overtime. The following game was a rout of the Phoenix Suns, highlighted by Stephen Jackson's first career triple double. The Suns got vindication two days later by beating the Warriors at the US Airways Center. The Suns jumped out fast, but allowed the W's the get back in the game. The Warriors momentum was halted the moment Andris Biedrins rolled his ankle in the third quarter. Yesterday, the Warriors burned the Jazz for 38 in the third quarter to beat a team they have struggled with over the past few seasons. Golden State competed well in all four games.
As the All-Star game draws closer, it's time to evaluate what the Warriors have accomplished so far this season. They were not expected to make the playoffs, especially with the injury of Monta Ellis. As the NBA's youngest team, it is a more realistic goal to say that the Warriors are auditioning for roles on Don Nelson's team. Constant injury has allowed every player on the Warriors roster to get a chance to show something. (Except for Marcus Williams)
Jackson and Corey Maggette have been living up their expectations lately by putting up solid numbers and making this team an offensive threat once again. Ellis has been a big part of the Warriors rekindling the offensive fire by returning to the lineup on Jan. 23. Biedrins has been the most solid player all year and Azubuike has proven to be a quality signing. Belinelli showed he can be a versatile scorer who can shoot and create. We know Anthony Morrow can shoot, but is he too one dimensional? Anthony Randolf is obviously capable of being a terrific shot blocker and his athleticism at 19 years old make Warriors fans wanting to see more of what could be. It would have been nice to see more Brandan Wright, but he has been out with a shoulder injury. CJ Watson has made a case that he can be a valuable addition to any NBA bench. He can score many ways, but his on-the-ball defense could be better.
The Warriors are a better team now than when the season started. Maggette rivals Ginobili as the NBA's best sixth man and Jackson is making less turnovers with Crawford and Ellis available to handle the ball. When the stars have good chemistry and share the ball, it makes players like Watson, Azuibuke, and Turiaf more confident and therefore get the bench contributions that help the Warriors beat top teir teams.
...In other news, Anthony Morrow was not selected to participate in the three point shootout, so as promised, I will forgo viewing it. Morrow has a better three point stroke than hlaf the contestants including Mike Bibby, Danny Granger, and Rashard Lewis (who has the second ugliest shot in the league behind Shawn Marion). With no Morrow, my pick is on Daequan Cook. Besides, the NBA messed up scheduling the contest on Valentine's day. I have a woman to please.