Friday, March 25, 2016

When They're 65

With Bogut back on the home court, the Warriors have returned to form in two victories to reach 65 wins--only the second team to do it for two years running, the first being the team that set a lot of records they're going for this year, the late 90s Chicago Bulls.  In these two games combined, the Splash Brothers (Curry and Thompson) scored more than 135 points.  

Having defeated both the Clippers and Mavs this week, the Warriors now have to guard against lack of concentration as they face clearly inferior opponents, beginning with the Sixers on Sunday.  Several players after the game noted that this sort of happened against Dallas (a likely playoff team), when an 18 point lead almost evaporated in the fourth quarter.

Then come the Wizards, who've been on a bit of a tear lately, and the trip to Utah.  The Jazz took down Cleveland last week and would dearly love to giant-kill GS as well.  The Warriors play Memphis and San Antonio twice more, home and away.  Boston, Portland and Minnesota are their other regular season opponents.  Put it this way--they have to lose 3 out of the remaining 10 to not break the record for most wins in a season.   If they keep winning, they will have the opportunity to tie the record against San Antonio at home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Last Ten

Are the last ten the hardest?  I guess we'll see.  The Warriors are at 63-7, after a loss in San Antonio and a close victory in Minnesota.  They have 12 games left, and must win 10 to break the season win record.  With each victory the percentages become better that they will.  Or seem to--because the pressure mounts, and the fatigue, and lately, the injuries.

The Spurs took advantage of Andrew Bogut's absence at center, and tried a new defense of quick switches, especially on Steph Curry.  When the Warriors saw Minnesota doing the same defense they were prepared, even without Bogut.  Curry had two bad shooting games in a row, but both games were close anyway.  The effort to beat them so exhausted the Spurs that for the first time all year they blew a 20 point lead and lost.

The Warriors go home and mostly stay there for 9 of the final 12 games.  But their first game back is a tough one--the Clippers, always out for blood against Golden State.  The Warriors play Dallas and the Spurs on this home stand, and go to Utah and finally to San Antonio.  Those are the five biggest challenges, on paper.  And it starts Wednesday with the Clips.  I'd feel better with Bogut back, but no word on that yet.  Still, the Clips are kind of reeling lately, and Blake Griffith is still out.

At Giants camp, another troubling injury, this time to catcher Trevor Brown, but again it doesn't seem serious.  Brown has a good chance of making the team, especially with Susac still bothered by a mysterious wrist problem.  Hard to evaluate pitchers at this point, but among the veteran position players, the best news appears to be Angel Pagan (hitting well, running better than in recent years, and fielding his new position in left) and Hunter Pence (3 homers, etc.)  Pence and Joe Panik healthy and back in form are confidence builders for sure.