The Warriors are set to kick off the second half of the season tonight. Many a Warrior fans think the Warriors should tank the season and finish in the bottom seven, keeping their first round pick. But how many are eyeing a post-season berth considering the Warriors are just three games back with 36 to play?
Presuming the latter, that you want the Warriors to make a charge for the playoffs, what do they need to do to get it done? Here are my keys. But I’m much more interested in yours.
Dominate at home: Golden State only has 15 games left at Oracle Arena. Considering the second half is road heavy, home contests are that much more valuable. Playing .500 ball at home – as the Warriors did in the first half (9-9) – is not acceptable. They’ll need a good 12-3 or 13-2 run to close out at home.
Get better down the stretch: This largely falls on coach Mark Jackson. Golden State routinely does what it takes to not pull out close games. The fact that it’s usually a different reason perhaps implies a need for a shift in a approach may be needed. But Jackson said the Warriors’ close-game shortcomings are a sign they’re right there, they just need to stick at it. Certainly, the big win at Phoenix on Wednesday suggests he could be right.
Stay healthy: Losing center Kwame Brown is a blow the Warriors’ still feel. Now, point guard Stephen Curry is hobbled again. Playing from behind, Golden State cannot afford injuries. However, their schedule will all but promote injuries. With very few off days and plenty nights on the road, Jackson and his staff are going to have be creative balancing minutes and nursing injuries while still going hard to the finish line.