The Golden State Warriors looked like a completely different team in Thursday night’s win against the Los Angeles Clippers in contrast to Tuesday nights loss versus the Washington Wizards, especially on the offensive side of the basketball court. Heck the Warriors even got some production from an unlikely source… their bench, yes their bench that ranks dead last in the NBA in terms of scoring production (23 points per game) contributed early in the game. In the third meeting of a contentious regular season series between the two teams (that has resulted in some scuffles, and bogus ejections of players) the Warriors made it a point to offensively get it going Thursday night against their division opponent after only scoring 85 points in Tuesday night’s stunning loss vs the Washington Wizards. The Warriors offense rolled scoring 64 points in the first half of the game and finishing the game with 111 points overall. The Warriors defense also showed up Thursday night most noticeably in the 3rd quarter, were the Warriors just held the Clippers to 11 points on 1-14 shooting (7 percent) for that quarter.
“If our defense is switched on like it was tonight,” Warriors center Andrew Bogut said after the win, “we have a chance to be a very good team.” Even the Warriors bench showed up to play, ranking dead last in every major statistical category in terms of bench production (those stats should improve with acquiring guard Jordan Crawford in a trade) The Warriors bench lead by Marreese Speights (12 points) and Harrison Barnes (10 points and a nasty dunk) opened up the game in the 2nd quarter and the game really wasn’t close from that point. David Lee and Andrew Bogut dominated the glass (each getting a double-double) and Stephen Curry had his usual all-star numbers tallying 22 points and 7 assists (4-4 from 3 point land), it was a total team effort. “We’ve had some special nights, so it’s not like we are trying to reach for something we are not capable of doing,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We are all well aware of it. What I liked about tonight was that we set the tone early and battled.” The Warriors are 4-6 in their last 10 games after the win Thursday night, and are still struggling to find consistency since their 10 games winning streak ended. They had an impressive win last Sunday night, and held the Portland Trailblazers (leads the NBA in scoring) well under their season average, as the Blazers only managed to score 88 points, and just when you thought the Warriors found consistency on defense, it was their offense that came out flat in Tuesday nights loss to the Washington Wizards losing 88-85. If the Warriors are a championship caliber team, they have to take care of the lesser teams in the NBA and coach Mark Jackson knows the importance of that. “We’ve got to be better,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s loss. “The very good teams or the great teams in this league, they take care of their business. And right now we’re a team (that) if a championship-caliber team comes in here or an elite team comes in here, we play at that level. Or if a bad team or an average team comes in, then we play at that level. We are not good enough to allow who comes in here to determine how hard we play.” The Warriors upcoming schedule is favorable heading into the all-star break playing against the lesser teams of the NBA, starting off with Friday night’s game in Utah to face the Jazz but the last game before all-star break is capped off with the 2x defending champion Miami Heat coming to Oakland next Wednesday, hopefully the Warriors will take advantage and play like the team they know they’re capable of instead of playing down to the competition.