The Warriors are 7-0 and take on the Detroit Pistons Monday night at Oracle. Things are going terrifically well for Golden State, and even a couple blips with coach Steve Kerr and center Andrew Bogut’s health seem to be short term.
It’s unfair to say the Warriors have issues, if you know what I mean. But there certainly are questions about this team. Here are three that have jumped to the surface as we enter Week 3 of the NBA:
- Are the Warriors really better than last year?
While many of the numbers indicate they are, the reality is: Not so fast. If you cast the numbers aside, how much new information has really come available in the first seven games? The Warriors hammered the New Orleans Pelicans twice, handled the Houston Rockets and blew out the Memphis Grizzlies by 50. But we already knew the Warriors were better than those teams, didn’t we?
Golden State swept the Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs last year. They beat the Houston Rockets 8 of 9 games last year, including sweeping them in the regular season. And Memphis? Well, the Warriors beat them three straight in the second round last year to advance to the WCF.
The Clippers are a far better barometer for the Warriors, and after one game, the verdict is still very much out. Yep, the Warriors wound up beating LA, but they were down 10 midway through the fourth quarter and needed some pretty big heroics to get the W. The notion that the Warriors are in the Clippers’ heads was dismissed by Scott Howard-Cooper, a national writer for NBA.COM, who joined the “NBA THIS WEEK” show.
You can listen to Howard-Cooper and all shows by clicking on “NBA THIS WEEK.”
2. What’s going on with Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli?
By not extending the contracts of either of these players, the Warriors left some doubt about their future direction. Golden State is still in the driver’s seat when it comes to re-signing Barnes and Ezeli, but it also leaves the Warriors with options and flexibility.
Barnes and Ezelii have been terrific in the early season, and have been a big part of the Warriors’ undefeated start. But as the season rolls on, the question of whether these two players are part of the future will linger.
3. Is there reason to concerned with Klay Thompson?
Well, maybe, but not because his numbers are down. The thing that has happened this season so far is that with Stephen Curry being so good, and handling the ball so much, and other players stepping up, it’s just not logically possible for everyone to be playing well – or putting up good stats at the same time.
Curry is scoring at a phenomenal rate; Ezeli has now given the Warriors more of a low-post threat; Draymond Green and Barnes have nudged upwards in terms of their production. That’s got to come from somewhere and it appears to be coming from Thompson.
Still, offense is only part of Thompson’s value, although, yes, a big part. He’s still ultra-valuable at the defensive end, with his versatility allowing him to defend both 1s and 2s, and even sometimes 3s. That’s an asset that’s tough to measure, though, statistically.