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Warriors And All That Jazz

Posted By Scott Johnston On Feb 17 2011 @ 11:13 am In Golden State Warriors | No Comments

All of a sudden, the Warriors are hot. If someone could quickly hand them a note and let them know that the Phoenix Suns stink this year, they’d be extremely hot. It’s like the game you play with a child when they are looking for something and you say as they walk towards an item, “Getting warmer… getting warmer… warmer… hot, Hot… HOT!”

When looking at the schedule, the Suns part would be the “cold, getting colder” part. Everything else would be scorching. After last night’s win in Utah, 107-100, the Warriors head into the All-Star break with a record of 26-29. Last year, they finished the season at 26-56, which means they’ve already equaled last season’s win total.

And they aren’t beating up on the Sisters of the Poor. Their last six wins are against teams with winning records. Of course, those were all at home. Winning in Utah is another thing, although Golden State did get them at the right time with the Jazz now having lost 13 of their last 17 games, including 0-3 since Jerry Sloan abruptly resigned.

That’s what good teams do though. They take advantage of when other teams aren’t 100% or playing very well. Now, I’m not saying the Warriors are a good team, but you can’t deny that right now they are playing like one.

Led by another great performance by Monta Ellis, the Warriors hung around last night long enough to let him take over down the stretch. And while Deron Williams will be going to the All-Star Game this weekend, it was clear to anyone watching, that the best player on the court last night was Ellis. 35 points on 16-25 shooting, 7 assists and 3 steals. Need I say more?

Monta said that he wasn’t too concerned when he wasn’t named as a reserve to the AST, and that he would continue to focus on trying to get the Warriors into the playoffs. It was the right thing to say at the time, and, with the Warriors recent success, he may be onto something.

At 26-29, I still don’t think this team is playoff bound, but they are vastly improved from a year ago. Ellis, although not an All-Star somehow, is a nightly joy to watch. Stephen Curry is healthy and playing his best ball of the year. Dorell Wright has been the best free agent signing the Warriors have had in years. David Lee and his workmanlike approach is refreshing to see. And the bench provides a new contributor almost each night, with the exception of Reggie Williams, who has excelled recently in his role off the bench.

Twenty-seven games to go with Boston and Atlanta coming to Oakland to start the 2nd half next Tuesday. Am I predicting playoffs? No. Am I predicting a .500 record? No. Am I predicting that this team will continue to play hard, never give up and surprise the heck out of me?

Yes.

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