The six game eastern conference road trip was the main focus this week as the Golden State Warriors are looking strong coming out of the all-star break winning five of the last seven games.
Monday they faced off against an underachieving Detroit Pistons team, and the Warriors got all they could handle from the talented front court tandem of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond (who is only 20 years old by the way), but they had a well balanced offensive attack as 5 warriors were in double figures including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who both lead the team with 19 points each. Another factor in the game was Jermaine O’neal turning back the clock a few years and having a throwback game, which included scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Wednesday night the Warriors ran into a buzz-saw named the Chicago Bulls defense. The Chicago Bulls smothered the Warriors pick and roll game all night, while also smothering the three point line forcing the Warriors to shoot 23% from 3 point land. The Bulls also dominated the glass like a Tom Thibodeau coached team always does, out rebounding the Warriors by 14. After leading by three at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors had a rough second quarter only scoring 21 points while giving 35 points to the Bulls and when the Bulls retook the lead in the second quarter they never looked back and blew out the Warriors 103-83.
Friday night the Warriors delivered a blow out of their own when they faced the New York Knicks. This time it wasn’t just Stephen Curry putting on a show, this time Klay Thompson helped with the 3 point shooting, as the Splash Brothers each hit 5 threes. Curry might not have scored 54 points like the last time he was at Madison Square Garden but he still put on a clinic, as he managed to nab the 3rd triple double of his career scoring 27 points, dishing out 11 assists and grabbing 11 boards.
Sunday afternoon it was a different story as the Warriors offense struggled facing off against the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors shot below 40% in the first half while the Raptors shot 52% from the field in that half as well, and DeMar DeRozan kept hitting his jump shot. The Warriors made a run in the third quarter to give themselves a 3 point lead going into the fourth, but too many turnovers down the stretch and too much DeMar DeRozan ended the Warriors chances in that game as they lost 104-98.
They are now 2-2 so far on this road trip and next game wont be any easier as they face the eastern conference leading, Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. If the Warriors shot like they did against the Raptors, the Pacers will exploit and dominate them, they cannot afford to have a stagnant offense in this game. They also will have to find a way to contain emerging superstar Paul George, as he went off against the Warriors in the first meeting between these teams (which the pacers also won).
The Warriors still own the 6th seed in the west but are tied with the Dallas Mavericks who also have the same record at 36-24, looking at the upcoming schedule the Warriors have a slew of tough games coming up and need to keep winning so they can hold off the other bottom seeds in the tight Western Conference.