Another night, another win against a quality team. That’s how things are going these days for the men who occupy Oracle Arena. The Warriors, unless they are playing the Phoenix Suns, match up well with just about anybody these days when playing at home. Having beaten New Orleans last night 102-89, Golden State now has wins over the Hornets, Oklahoma City, Denver, & Chicago this month.
Why the turnaround. It’s as simple as ‘a,b,c’. Actually, I’ll go a step further and add ‘d’. Make that a capital ‘D’. The Warriors have held their opponent under 100 points in three of those four wins. That didn’t look like the case early last night, when New Orleans hit 10 of their first 12 shots, and scored 32 points in the first quarter.
From there, the Warriors clamped down, holding the Hornets to 57 points the rest of the way on 40% shooting. This recent surge comes on the heels of their most demoralizing loss of the season; an 8-point overtime heartbreaker at home to the Bobcats. A game that was all but won by Golden State, before having their hearts, and backboard, broken by a banked in 3-pointer by Stephen Jackson.
The Warriors of the past would have lamented that loss, their 4th straight at that point, and ridden the misery train to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that their best player, Monta Ellis, was overlooked for the game’s midseason fiesta, and this had the looks of a complete meltdown.
Kudos to Head Coach Keith Smart. The opposite happened. The team bounced back from that loss by beating Utah at home. They then beat Milwaukee and the Bulls, with the Chicago one being one of their better performances of the season. Then came the Phoenix debacles; a blowout loss at home, and a blowout loss in Arizona. Sandwiched between the two was an impressive win over Denver, but still, the two Suns losses were about as ugly as one could imagine.
But once again, the Warriors seem to be able to shake off bad losses, the same way they seem to shrug off big wins. The double dip of wins against the Thunder and New Orleans being the latest example of the resiliency (or lack of consistency depending on if you’re a half-full or half-empty kind of person) this team has demonstrated for much of this season.
Tonight, they finish up the first half of the season in Utah. A win there would be the 26th of the season for Golden State which would match their season total for all of last season, but it won’t be easy. Utah has been about as friendly a place for the Warriors to visit as the Bermuda Triangle is to pilots. Win or lose, this team will never say Mayday.
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!