Yes, I know this is big talk, but it’s not crazy talk. The Warriors have had arguably one of the most surprisingly hot starts in the NBA. So far, they have won 18 games and lost ten. That’s pretty good considering that the Warriors had a horrifying record last year.
The Warriors have come to compete. Mark Jackson, along with his squad of shooter, learned defenders, and competitors, have proved that he and his team are willing and ready to go to the playoffs, and perhaps take it further than that. In 2007, the Warriors didn’t win because of their amazing play, but they won because the crowd was alive. Because of the crowd’s amazing energy, they were able to get to that state and beat the 8th seed. Against Utah, they didn’t have that luck, although 3/4 games lost were decided by seven points or less – one was even in overtime.
Why the Warriors will contend:
1. Determination: The Warriors are more determined than any team in the league. Other than the Thunder and the Heat, the Warriors, despite some questionable losses, have really started to focus on their defense. Mark Jackson, who was criticized last year for his handling of the defensive situation, is now a candidate for coach of the year. This is how much the Warriors have improved. With the energy that this team posses, they are poised to go further than expected.
2. Thirst: This will be a contributing factor for the Warriors. Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Stephen Curry, and almost every player on the Warrior roster has never played a post-season game. Don’t you think these guys would be thirsting for it? David Lee and Stephen Curry have put up MVP-like numbers, and Jarrett Jack, who has proved to be a valuable signing, is putting up 20.5 PPG in the last 4 contests. The difference between this year and last year, is that the Warriors actually crave for some sweet playoff action.
3. Coaching: Mark Jackson: He is an incredible coach. Many questioned the action of Joe Lacob as hiring Jackson, who was merely just a commentator: didn’t know that much about strategy. He has more than silenced the critics, as he is coaching defense, as well as strategy. Last year, down the stretch, the Warriors continuously failed to close games out. This year, the Warriors are 15-1 after leading at the end of the third quarter. That’s all mental statistics: this is inscribed into their heads by Mark Jackson.
4. Home Crowd: Best crowd in the NBA, best crowd in the NBA. Why do we hear that over and over again? We hear this because there simply is no match to the Bay Area’s excitement of the Warriors – no matter how poorly they’re doing. When the Warriors beat the Mavericks in 2007, they didn’t lose a single home game. The building was so loud, that it “came to life” in the words of many celebrities and players. The Warriors only played two games against the Jazz at home and split it. Now that they have a good coach, he may be able to coach the Warriors past that.
Many are saying that the Warriors will make the playoffs, no question. What critics overlook, however, is the amazing crowd, coaching and desire of the franchise. It’s in the Warriors’ ability to beat the Thunder and the Heat. All they need to do is make it to the playoffs, and they may be able to rally to an NBA championship. Just look at how well the Los Angeles Kings did. They started at the 8th seed and won the Stanley Cup Finals. Remember, the Playoffs are an entirely different atmosphere.