Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Curry Outplays CP3, Again

After watching Monday nights game vs. the Clippers, and seeing Steph Curry just destroy Chris Paul and help lead the Warriors to victory, I got a nostalgic 2006 feeling all over again. That year the Warriors just kept winning big game after big game, and this year, that trend has started again.

The Dubs improved to 25-15 with the victory and have now made it through 1/2 of the '12/13 season with a firm grasp on 2nd place and stranglehold on one of the 8 playoff spots in the Western Conference. Most people looked at their start as a fluke that would even out by December, or January at the latest, but here we are, approaching the All-Star break, and the Warriors have the best record they've had in 2 decades. We saw the major reason why on Monday night too, and that being Step Curry. I know I've gushed about Curry as well as the roles David Lee and Klay Thompson have played in the Warriors terrific half, but the clear-cut team MVP is Steph Curry, and it's the significance of the games he's stepping up in that has me in awe. He's had Chris Paul's number all year, and I know CP wasn't quite 100% for this game, but seeing Curry lead this team like that against the top seeded team in the West for the third time in a row gave me a sense of reassurance that this team will be ready to answer the bell come playoff time. And that's with or without Andrew Bogut.

It was a perfect way to close out the first 40 games of the season, and hopefully will set the tone for the back half of their schedule. As good as they've looked in these big games, there is still room for improvement with this squad. First and foremost, of course, is Andrew Bogut. Mark Jackson has said that he's not counting on anything from anyone who's not with the team right now, whether it's a potential trade, or the return of Bogut, he's only counting on the guys he's got in uniform right now.  That said, Bogut has made strides toward a possible return over the last few weeks, as he's started sprinting and some on-court activities. He's still a ways away from practicing, but whispers of a return following the All-Star break are at least encouraging. Even if Bogut is only able to come back and contribute 20-25 minutes a game, it would be a welcome addition. The Warriors have done a tremendous job covering that vacancy, but they could use another big, useful body down in the paint that can guard other centers and give them a touch of low-post scoring. It's been incredible the Warriors have done this well without a consistent post-presence, but doing it in a best-of-7 series against a premiere team is a different story.

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