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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Warriors: shaky start, but still hope

As the NBA season nears the halfway point, the Golden State Warriors sit nine games above .500, yet they only hold the sixth place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff picture.

After a somewhat shaky start to the season that saw the Warriors go 14-13, the Dubs rattled off a 10-game win streak and climbed up the ranks in the Western Conference. At 27-18, the Warriors have not had a bad season, but they have not been as impressive as projected in the preseason.

The Warriors completed a Cinderella playoff run last season and challenged the Spurs in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, only to lose in six games. This playoff performance spurred the league into choosing to televise many Warriors games on national television and predicting them to finish among the top three or four teams in the West.

This, however, has not panned out. The Warriors have had their struggles, especially with turnovers. Star player Stephen Curry has been terrific (more on that later) but he is also averaging 4.2 turnovers a game and power forward David Lee is averaging 2.26. This is not a trend the Warriors want to continue if they hope solidify themselves as one of the West’s elite.

Despite these issues, at one point the Warriors did look like a dominant team in their 10-game win streak. Golden State impressively won games against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat during that streak and looked like the team everyone expected to see as the season tipped off.

The Warriors successes so far can be attributed to the stellar play of point guard Stephen Curry. Curry has been nothing short of an All-Star and potential All-NBA player thus far. He is averaging 23.5 points per game, seventh in the league, and 9.2 assists per game, which is good for second in the NBA.

Not only has he been a calming presence at point guard for the team, but he has also provided much needed scoring and is finally coming into his own as leader of this team. Curry has also been uninjured this season, helping the team stay consistent.

Other than Curry, center Andrew Bogut and forward Andre Iguodala have also been important cogs in the Warriors’ machine. While they don’t contribute much as far as scoring, they are both elite defenders and give the Warriors a new dimension they didn’t have in the past.

Bogut and Iguodala are arguably the best defenders the Warriors have obtained in a decade and it shows through their play. Bogut is averaging 1.76 blocks per game and Iguodala is averaging 1.68 steals. They are counted on as stoppers when the Warriors need to make an important defensive play and halfway through the season, they have been spectacular to watch.

While the Warriors have not been perfect this season, they are a team to watch as the second half of the season progresses. With the Splash Brothers, David Lee, Iggy and Bogut, the Warriors are one of the league’s most fun teams to watch and they may be one of the most dangerous come playoff time.

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