When the season started, many who looked at the Warriors schedule said, “If we can just get to the New Year in decent shape, maybe we’ll be Okay.”
Maybe they will.
The Warriors hosted the dismal New Jersey Nets on Monday afternoon and led for the final 46 minutes of the game, winning 109-100 behind a balanced attack that showed five players in double figures led once again by Monta Ellis. The future All-Star guard scored 26 points and dished out 9 assists while turning the ball over just one time.
The Warriors were stingy with the ball as a team, turning it over only six times the entire contest as Golden State won their 2nd in a row in a stretch that sees them play 13 of 14 games at Oracle Arena.
With the win, the Warriors are now 17-23, and in order for them to sniff the .500 mark, they’ll need to continue to play well at home during this stretch. With games coming up against Indiana and Sacramento, the schedule is finally getting a tad easier for the now healthy W’s.
David Lee is finally playing on a consistent level each night. The power forward was derailed for much of the early part of the season after that freakish injury he suffered in New York. His 24 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s win was his 15th double-double of the season. Golden State is 11-4 in those games, an obvious correlation to how important Lee is to the team.
Stephen Curry is the other Warrior who has been hobbling along for most of the season—literally. Since sustaining an ankle injury right before the regular season tipped off Curry has seemed to be a step slow, resulting in many games in which he is sitting due to foul trouble. That was the case again on Monday when Curry picked up two early fouls in both halves and sat for long stretches. Still, Steph was productive scoring 13 points in 23 minutes. However, when Curry scores 20+ points in a game, Golden State is 9-6.
So it’s clear for all to see that the health of Curry and Lee is paramount to the Warriors success. It’s no secret to anyone that if a team loses its starting point guard and power forward for a certain amount of time that team will suffer. But with both of them now healthy, the Warriors must take advantage of this January home cooking.
The New Year is upon us. It’s time to get Okay.
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About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!