You would have to look back to the Dec 22 tilt with the Brooklyn Nets to find a game in which the Golden State Warriors won by more than 12 points. Yeah, that’s a fairly arbitrary margin of victory to point out, but it also lets you know that the Dubs have frankly not been blowing out their opponents. Since Dec 22, the team has faced, among others, the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and most recently the Miami Heat. These are five games in which they are the clear favorite, yet are winning by a margin of roughly nine points – which is in single digits! Let’s decipher some of the various potential reasons for this decline in utter domination by the Warriors:
Spending Xmas with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
This was a rough one for the Warriors, and has probably brought upon months of terror for Warriors fans on various message boards that won’t cease until the Warriors finally beat the Cavs. I would imagine that the Warriors themselves hardly give the comments a thought, but the team must be wondering what they need to do to bring down a Cleveland team that seems hellbent on winning every time the two teams play. Consequently, the Warriors are subject to scrutiny from all sources of media, and that would put a damper on anyone’s holiday season. However, hopefully, the Warriors are back to their destructive ways as we know them by the time they play their Eastern Conference rivals again in less than a week, this coming Monday…
The Dog Days of… Winter?
The 109-108 loss in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena was a particularly bumpy one for MVP point guard Steph Curry, who ended up being benched by Steve Kerr on the Cavs final possession (who won on this very impressive attempt by Kyrie Irving). Thankfully, Steph has bounced back as of late, scoring at least 30 points in each of the last three games. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson hasn’t crossed the 20 point margin over the same period of games. Luckily, for the Warriors, their other two superstars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have been fairly consistent in producing double-doubles while maintaining stellar defense. The lack of blowouts could simply be due to Steph and Klay not getting hot at the same time and shooting the lights out from all zip codes beyond the arc, which expectantly leads to slimmer margins of victory.
Do the Stars Need More Help?
Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green are averaging a total of 82.8 PPG, 25.2 RPG, and 20.1 APG for their team all while playing at least 33 MPG. Sure, they have Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, and Zaza Pachulia; but they are all expected to play significant minutes yet can’t put points on the board in bunches, which would help the core stars take a load off their back especially in these close games they’ve been playing. Additionally, Ian Clark, maybe the Warriors best scoring weapon off the bench, has only cracked double digit points in two of the last twelve games. Suffice to say, they can use some reinforcements – specifically in the form of a consistent scoring option off the bench (which the Cavs just got in the form of sharpshooter Kyle Korver).
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