140, 119, 99, and 116.
Those are the amount of points that the Golden State Warriors have given up over their last four games to the Rockets, Thunder, Grizzlies, and Mavericks. Not surprisingly, they lost all of them and finished a four-game road trip without a win.
The Warriors are falling in the standings, and falling fast. A month ago, they were locked in a battle with the Los Angeles Clippers for the division lead. Now, they are five games back and have slipped to the sixth position in the conference.
Not so long ago, the Warriors were considered a lock to make the playoffs and people were already tossing around potential postseason match-ups.
Not so fast, my friend. After all, these are the Golden State Warriors that we’re talking about. The same Warriors who have reached the playoffs once in 18 seasons. The same Warriors whose last All-Star before David Lee was a guy who choked his coach during practice 15 years ago. The same Warriors who have failed year after year to meet any expectations, as low as they have been. The same Warriors who have been recognized around the NBA as a symbol of mediocrity.
So now, with the team in the midst of its longest losing streak of the season, it is time to press the panic button and press it hard.
The past four games have brought back some horrific memories into my head: recollections of previous Warrior teams that consider defense and rebounding optional (see Don Nelson).
It cannot get any worse than allowing an opponent to tie an NBA record with 26-made threes, and the only thing that prevented the Rockets from making history was intentional fouls by the Warriors.
That was only the start of the dismal road trip. The next night, they allowed the Thunder to shoot over 50 percent from the field in a 22-point blowout.
They played a decent game in Memphis, but what has doomed the Warriors in previous years haunted them again. They were out-rebounded 43-34 and simply out-hustled by Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies.
The road trip ended with an absolute dismantling at the hands of the Mavericks, who jumped out to a 26-point lead against the fatigued Warriors and never looked back.
Writing those last six sentences made me feel like I was writing a Warriors game recap back in the days when a defensive effort was voluntary, which is exactly what worries me about them right now.
As much as you would like to think that the Warriors are a sure lock to make the playoffs, check over your shoulder. Houston, who owns the eighth-seed, is only three games back, followed by the ninth-place Blazers who are five games back.
Then right behind Portland loom the Los Angeles Lakers, who are bound to eventually catch fire and vault themselves into a playoff spot.
So, Warriors fans, if you were looking for an easy ride into the All-Star break and cruise control into the postseason, think again.
After all, these are the Golden State Warriors that we’re talking about.
Tags: Golden State Warriors