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When the Warriors were kicked in the teeth a few days ago in Los Angeles, it was a reminder that the Western Conference is treacherous and every team within it is seeking payback for five years of abuse.
The Lakers got theirs, and it was a painful preview. The Trail Blazers are lined up for Wednesday, the Suns on Thursday, the Clippers on March 11, the Jazz on March 14 and the Lakers again on March 15. It’s a brutal stretch, as these teams occupy the top five spots in the conference standings.
The Warriors sit in eighth place and three of the next five games are on the road, where their 7-10 is the only sub-.500 record and by far the worst among the top 10 teams in the West.
What awaits the Warriors? Do they have enough to recover from the beating in LA and start stringing together some wins? What changes, if any, should they make?
We asked, and here is a sampling of the responses:
Overreaction? Yes, to an “extreme” degree.
You’re right in saying they’re not a very good team. Some good players, yes, but not enough to qualify as “very good.” As Stephen Curry said after the game in LA, they’re “average,” which is reflected in their 19-16 record.
But trading everyone except Curry and Thompson would in no way make the Warriors “extreme title favorites next year” – unless the return is Anthony Davis, Jaylen Brown, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Joe Harris, Jordan Clarkson and a few other players.
In short, you’re going to have to wait until the NBA kills off the luxury tax.
When the Warriors sent Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion to the G League, the intention was to keep them there for the duration. Well, that changed. Wanamaker has been OK on defense, with good and bad moments, but his offense has been profoundly ineffective.
I was told after the draft that Mannion could compete for backup PG minutes. There are those within the organization that believe Poole’s best position is PG.
It’s fairly easy to connect the dots.
Overreaction? Yes, but not drastically so.
The next five games should provide an accurate picture of where the Warriors are headed.
Portland/Phoenix is a really tough back-to-back, but they’ll be rested for the Clippers, Jazz and Lakers.Going back to the loss to the Lakers on Sunday, the Warriors need to go 3-2 to come out of this six-stretch at .500. Given their track record this season, 3-2 would be quite the achievement.
The Warriors are good enough to stay out of 12-14, but 11th is possible and 10th is very conceivable.
Truth of the matter is this season is widely considered a “runway” to next season.
So, your description is on target, and has been all season. Internal expectations are on pause, with the belief that the Warriors are a low-seed playoff team, with the potential to reach the second round.
Anything beyond that is welcome – especially if fans can return to Chase Center – but unexpected.