Despite being without their starting center in Andrew Bogut, and not knowing exactly when or if he'll return for this season, the Warriors have gotten off to a solid 11-7 start and started their big 7-game roadie off with a victory Wednesday night.
You could tell early on that Andrew Bogut was never at 100% this season, and despite him not being ruled out for the year yet, the Warriors will not be expecting anything out of him anytime soon. In his absence though, we've seen Festus Ezeli and Carl Landy really step up big in taking those minutes. Ezieli has been getting the starts and has been seeing a lot of time against some pretty good centers, like Roy Hibbert and Greg Monroe, and he's done a terrific job in containing those guys. Landry has been called upon when the W's go with the smaller, more dynamic look, and he's been one of the most efficient scorers off the bench in all the NBA this year. While they aren't Andrew Bogut, a first-team defender and one of the few star 7-footers in the league, they've done better than I think anyone was expecting them to thus far. Ezeli has been especially impressive with the way he's stepped up on the defensive end as a rookie. I mean, he's giving the Warriors quality minutes out there and is playing like he's been in this league 10 years. You can only imagine where this team would be with a full deck with the way they're playing right now.
Steph Curry has been out of his mind over the last two weeks, as he just got done completing his 4th straight game with 20+ points and 10+ assists. For a guy everyone calls a "shoot first" guard and not a true PG, he's done a helluva job running this offense and leading the Dubs to a 3-1 record during that span. It really does look like the ankle issues are in the rear view mirror, as he's looked as quick and durable as I've ever seen him since becoming a Warrior. He and Klay Thompson have really done a solid job in leading the Warriors offensive attack, and David Lee has been monstrous on the boards and clutch down the stretch in games as well. You don't get off to a start like this without getting a little something from everyone on the team and that's what the Warriors are getting right now. Contributions out of Jarrett Jack and Draymond Green have been crucial off the bench lately as well, in addition to Landry. Even Andris Biedrins has put together some quality minutes when he's being called upon. I know it's still way early, but if the Warriors can get Bogut back by mid-season, they're looking like a legit contender, and easily the best Warrior team since 2006.