The Warriors have played 50 games and won five games in a row. While it may not have been pretty, the team must feel comfortable winning six out of seven in the home stand and, more importantly, building the chemistry between their top scorers on the pitch. With the All-Star break in a couple of weeks and the final playoff push right after that, the Warriors are now hoping to regain good health and momentum for the stretch run.
Here are some notes and observations from the last week of action:
There has been much debate as to whether or not Andrew Wiggins deserved his spot on the All-Star Team. Anyway, Wiggins has at least proven to be the most consistent (on both ends of the floor) and available wing in the Western Conference this season.
Over the year, the 6’7 tall forward amassed over 18 points per game, 48.5 percent from field and 41.4 percent from deep. He’s taken on every challenge this season, whether it’s to prove he can be consistently aggressive and assertive every night, or that he could change his shot selection to increase efficiency.
Wiggins has also taken on the challenge of proving that the All-Star voters got it right. In the two games since being named an All-Star starter, Wiggins has shown on national television to a tune of 21.5 points per game, with electric 57 percent from field and 56 percent from distance, and made nine of his 16 tries . He also fills out the stat sheet at every other stage of the game, grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game and dishing out three assists per contest, plus two steals and two blocks.
If he sustains this recent surge, Wiggins will make many naysayers reconsider their position.
In 50 games, the Warriors’ record is 37-13, good for the second-best record in the Western Conference (and NBA). In 50 games last season, the Warriors were 23-27 and trying to stay afloat. However, for context, it’s worth looking at the pace of the current Warriors versus the dynastic team.
In the 2018-19 season, the Warriors had a record of 36-14 in 50 games. In 2017-18 they were 40-10 and in 2016-17 they were 43-7. However, these teams’ final records can paint a better picture of what kind of finish the Warriors can expect down the road.
In the 2018-19 season, the Warriors finished with a 57-25 record, earning them first place in the Western Conference. This current team would have to go the rest of the way 20-12 to match that record, but even so, they probably wouldn’t finish better than second place in the West considering the Phoenix Suns are 3.5 games above them as of now in the standings now.
Although the Warriors won 58 games in the 2017-18 season, they finished second in the West behind the Houston Rockets, who surpassed them by seven games with 65 wins in the season. Finally, in 2016-17, the Warriors team racked up an impressive 67 wins and finished first in the West. This current Warriors team would have to go 30-2 to reach that mark, so to say pace is highly unlikely is an understatement.
If the Warriors are to surpass the Suns by the end of the season, they may need to win another 23-26 games and finish the year with 60-63 wins. With the uncertainty surrounding the return of Draymond Green and James Wiseman, putting together such a finish can be difficult. However, if the Warriors just get healthy enough in the last few weeks of the season and build some team chemistry on the court, it doesn’t matter where they end up in the standings, they’ll still be considered favorites going into the NBA Finals.