The Warriors are an NBA-best 43-8 with the All-Star break looming. At times this year they’ve looked unbeatable. But every once in a while they look like they looked on Saturday night — a 109-106 overtime loss to the Kings in Sacramento.
But if you take a gander at the big picture, the Warriors are in great shape right now … absolutely great shape. We hit on a variety of Warriors’ topics this morning on Joe, Lo and Dibs on 95.7-FM The Game. There’s a link at bottom. Among the topics:
–The injuries to Zaza Pachulia and David West have been terrific silver linings to the season so far. Those recent injuries have allowed coach Steve Kerr to take a look at some players he might not have gotten a look-see at: James Michael McAdoo and Kevon Looney. McAdoo and Looney have gotten more playing time of late and they haven’t done badly with it. Let’s be honest, it remains unclear how much either of these young guys will play once the postseason comes, but Kerr might be getting a better handle on it because of all this.
In addition, Pachulia and West are older players. These injuries aren’t serious and they’re not long term. So any break or rest that comes now will only help these veterans down the line.
–The Draymond Green-Kevin Durant shouting match during a timeout against Sacramento probably isn’t a big deal, but then again, we haven’t seen Green do this recently. We should all be willing to chalk this up as an isolated incident, but who knows with Green? He’s a wild-card and we all know it. I think what it’s more an indication of is we’re at that point of the season when teams need a break, they’re getting edgy and itchy and are looking for a respite. The All-Star break is around the corner.
—It’s worth repeating: Stephen Curry is having a great year and he was having a darn good year before the Christmas Day game against Cleveland — which was considered a turning point. Bottom line is Curry has been playing more like a point guard this year than at any other time during his career.
Curry came out this season looking to appease Durant, get him comfortable — and make sure everyone else was involved. That’s what good point guards do at the beginning of most games — see who’s got it going, give everyone a chance. Now, with the season more than half over, Curry is starting to assert himself — just like any good point guard would do if/when he sees the offense could be better. Curry’s approach this year has been terrific.
And guess what? There’s a chance that once the playoffs come Curry will have to defer again — particularly if defenses begin to want to try to shut him down some. Good think he’ll already have had practice doing that.
–It’s obvious that fans have been worrying more about the center position than the coaching staff. The big question this year is whether the Warriors have to tinker with the five spot … or even get someone new in there all together. The reality is that Kerr is fine with that spot. He starts Pachulia, who will log 15 to 20 minutes per game, then he’s got JaVale McGee, who gets an opportunity to impact the game, then he’s got a choice of McAdoo, West and Looney — depending on the game and opponent and matchup.
And, of course, last but not least, we still have the Green at center option. Point is, there are plenty of players to go around at that position and it doesn’t seem like a concern at all.
LINK TO STEINMETZ INTERVIEW ON 95.7-THE GAME FROM TUESDAY, FEB. 7.
LINK TO ‘SAL AND STEINY’ PODCAST, NO. 88 (SUPER BOWL; WARRIORS’ LOSS TO KINGS).