Saturday, November 12, 2005

A win, great! Maybe.

The Warriors are 4-2 behind a win last night over the New York Knicks, 86-84.

It's a win, yes. But, should we be happy about this? There's the normal reaction from me, reacting from a win from a team that has been losing for 10 years -- I'm happy after any win.

However, there are expectations of this team, and there is the simply fact that the Warriors could have a 1-5 record, a 6-0 record, or anything in between.

I could depend on one's opinion of the Knicks. If one believes the Knicks are a decent team that has just been unlucky to go winless in seven games thus far, then one is fine with the Warriors record and believes it indicates a good team. If one believes the Knicks are a poor team (like say, I do), then one might realize that three of the Warriors four wins have come against teams who have yet to win a game.

Two against the Knicks, one against the Hawks. Let me tell you why I'm a little apprehensive about the Warriors right now:
  • Way too many three-pointers being shot. The Warriors lead the league in three-pointers attempted by a full shot over the second place team (the 1-4 Supersonics), and by almost six shots over the third place team, the Suns. Why? They're 14th in percentage of made threes, and have never been a big-time three-point shooting team. This means there are too many guys sitting on the perimeter waiting to cash in from penetration, which usually only comes from Baron Davis.
  • They're getting outrebounded by an average of five rebounds a game, and are 26th out of 30 teams in giving up offensive rebounds. Only four teams are worse than Golden State in giving up offensive boards.
  • They're 28th in free throw shooting percentage.

Now, on the flipside, they are playing good team defense, but those offensive rebounds they're giving up will negate that to some degree. They're first in the league in turnover differential at +.8, meaning that even though they're turning over the ball too much for my liking, they're getting almost a turnover more from the other team.

I've been getting the feeling that the Warriors are better than all the teams they've played against, but for whatever reason, they let the inferior/poor teams hang around too much, either because of turnovers, poor free throwing, letting the opposition have too many offensive rebounds, or taking too many three-pointers.

Let's call it: playing to the level of their competition. They were getting smacked around by the Hawks in the first half of that game, and played a hell of a second half. They had no chance to rest against the Bucks because Milwaukee was playing good basketball in that game. That's when we've seen the best out of this team -- when there's been no choice. In the other games, the Warriors haven't had to play their best basketball because they other teams (the Bulls and the Knicks), weren't a real threat to pull away. They did just enough to win against the Knicks, and just enough to lose against the Bulls (and I'm skipping the Jazz game because of Davis being out that game).

So we'll see something tonight, I think. On the road against a high-scoring team again, a team in Phoenix who has had more problems than the Warriors in rebounding, and plays almost non-existent defense. It will certainly be interesting, but I think the Warriors really need this win to back the Milwaukee win up -- two victories against quality teams on the road instead of just one will solidify their current standing of second in the West.


Anonymous Pops said...

Dan, its the Warriors. Yes, they're My Team. That doesn't make them good. I predict they will finish the season within 5 games, either side, of .500...that means 36 - 46 wins. Every good team wil "know they've been in a game", but will still win by 6 or more points. Against other .500 teams, the Warriors will post a new record for 1 point wins or losses (maybe both); and against bad teams, the Warriors will win by more than 6, or lose by 3 or less. In other words, pretty much the same as last year -- and the year before that. I foresee that we will get a good draft candidate to "put the team over the hump next season" and then find out he's exactly the same as the player he was meant to replace. Or else, his "mentor" gets injured, and the coach has to throw another rookie out there just to put his best team on the floor. Lastly, I prophesy that we can recycle this comment next year, and it will be just as accurate a fit as it will prove to be for this year.

10:42 PM  

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