Golden State Warriors Still Have Much Work To Do


Though off to a historic start, the Golden State Warriors still have much work to do if they want to break the record and repeat as champions.

More from Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors, at 48-4, bulldozed their way to the best record before the All Star break in NBA history. Not even the mighty 72-10, Michael Jordan -led Chicago Bulls could boast that record after 52 games. That’s pretty good company, and cause for much elation and joy for the team that holds the championship reins.

But is winning this year’s title a foregone conclusion after the Warriors’ first half domination? Absolutely not. As the Warriors enter the final 30 games of their regular season, they can still point to several shortcomings that could derail their back-to-back title aspirations.

The most dangerous obstacle is the monotony of success. Conversations abound about how the Warriors winning it all this year is a foregone conclusion, and that can be hard to ignore. Although this Warriors team has fought complacency well, they must maintain that razor sharp focus for another four months if they are to complete an unthinkable feat by Warriors standards.

Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have been outspoken about how winning it all last year has given them championship experience and a blueprint on how to win again. But it wasn’t long ago that this franchise toiled in the depths of the nether region of the NBA. Replicating that championship blueprint is nice, but coupled with an awareness that these opportunities don’t pop up all the time gives them an edge and puts a chip on their shoulder.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Whether it’s a legitimate slight or not, the Warriors should use any motivation to ensure that they never take anything for granted. Jordan was famous for using any perceived slight to his advantage, and it worked out pretty well for him.

Part of the fuel that has led many to think the Warriors will steamroll anyone in their path during the playoffs is attributed to their successes in their highest profiles games. The Warriors are a combined 6-0 against the consensus top contenders (Spurs, Thunder and Cavs) and their chief rivals (Clippers). As nice as each of those wins were, the Warriors should take them with a grain of salt.

The Spurs lost by 30 at Oracle but expect a different environment when the Warriors visit the Spurs. The AT&T Center has been a house of horrors for the Warriors franchise and should the Spurs and Warriors meet in the playoffs — most likely in the conference finals — the Warriors will need to exorcise those demons.

The victories over the Thunder and Clippers weren’t exactly cakewalks as each had their fair share of tense moments. The Thunder crawled back into the game from a large first half deficit to make a game of it and the dual threat of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook cannot be underestimated. Against the Clippers, the Warriors had to make a furious comeback in both games to win at Oracle and then at Staples.

The Warriors’ record against their chief competition is impeccable to this point, but looking back at each game, that record carries a bit of an asterisk. They may have passed their tests thus far, but by no means do the Warriors have the right to fall asleep on their rivals.

Although the Warriors have not been as fortunate with injuries this year, they have been manageable. Festus Ezeli will be out for a decent amount of time and his health will need to be closely monitored. Given Andrew Bogut‘s long injury history, Ezeli will be essential in providing another big man off the bench. Ezeli was especially big in last year’s Finals against the Cavs.

Next: Golden State Warriors Not Likely To Land Kevin Durant This Offseason

There’s no doubt that the Warriors have exceeded expectations up to this point in their title defending season. But to say they have the championship locked up is disrespectful to their toughest competition and would be a detriment to their repeat title chances. As long as Kerr continues to motivate and remind his team of it’s shortcomings, the Warriors will be in good shape to bring home another championship.