The upcoming bonanza off-season is an issue for many teams this year, polarizing buyers and sellers. The Magic are a buyer, while they did most of their buying before this season, they are in position to win now. The Lakers, Cavs, Mavs, Nuggets, and Magic have spent the money, stocked up with deep rosters, and are in position to win the NBA Title this year.
The Warriors, like many sellers in the league, are just trying to limp across the finish line. Again, give the W's credit for competing and not mailing it in like the Knicks, Wizards, and Nets. The insertion of D-League players is certainly a disadvantage in talent and chemistry, but these are capable athletes interviewing for a job in the Association every time they take the court. Hungry D-League players bring energy which keeps the Warriors competitive on most nights. Other struggling teams like the Knicks, Wizards, Nets, Clippers, and even the Heat seem to underachieve and suffer fluctuations of energy from night to night. These are teams predicted to undergo major reconstructions in personnel, perhaps creating a sense of unease for the payers who might be on their way out.
If I'm a coach and I need to win one game, give me a motivated D-Leaguer on a 10 day contract over a complacent veteran already under contract.
The road trip doesn't let up, as the Warriors visit "The highlight factory" in Atlanta. The Hawks will be looking to avenge a loss in Oakland where they blew a 17 point lead to start the fourth quarter. The Warriors benefited from Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins in the upset, two players they will be without on Friday.