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Game 37 rewind: Historic trip has one last stop, but success is already bagged

Carl Steward here, awaiting a flight to Brooklyn for the Warriors’ final stop of the seven-game roadie, which so far has been a wild success at 6-0. The team couldn’t be riding higher than they are right now, having won 10 in a row with most of the wins coming in convincing fashion.

It tells you how well the Warriors are playing that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can combine to shoot 11 for 36 from the floor — 3 for 17 from 3-point range — and still win by 21. Granted, it was against the worst team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks, but this game was over by late third quarter in their building on one of the final stops of an exhausting trip. You still have to play well to get a win, and the Warriors did, particularly in the second half.

The Warriors seem to have a sense of the history they can make in Brooklyn now. Tie the all-time Warriors win streak (11). Break the team record for most wins in a row on the road (8). Become the first NBA team EVER to complete a road trip of seven games or more undefeated. David Lee was unaware of that last one Tuesday night after the game, and when informed of the prospect, began to excitedly tell teammates around him about the history they can accomplish by beating the Nets.

Lee critics are a bit quiet right now. The man is playing fabulous, energetic, efficient basketball. Offensively, he almost seems automatic at the moment. He was 9-for-9 before a miss against the Bucks (although apparently the scorekeepers missed an errant shot somewhere along the line), both on post-ups and jumpers, and he’s freeing up the perimeter players because he’s become such a consistent force inside. Defensively, he’s holding his own, which is all the Warriors ask in their team defense concepts.

That defense kicked in at the outset of the third quarter and was a sight to behind. Golden State outscored Milwaukee 27-9 and of the four shots the Bucks made, only one went relatively uncontested. When the Warriors decide to lock down, and lately that seems to be the third period, they are suffocating and discombobulating. The Bucks thought they were in a game at half and suddenly … they weren’t. Milwaukee wound up shooting 38.8 percent for the game, the 15th time the Warriors have held an opponent under 40 percent (12-3 in those games).

Good game by the bench last night. Toney Douglas had his best post-injury game, Draymond Green showed no ill effects from a sprained left ankle at Washington and Kent Bazemore logged 14 more solid minutes. Mark Jackson said he thought it was the best game by the bench on the trip. The Warriors may still have to add a complementary piece to the reserve unit before the trade deadline, but for now, there were fewer concerns than there were a month ago about the bench.

Whatever happens tonight against Brooklyn — you never know about the second leg of a back-to-back at the end of such a long, tiring trip — the Warriors will have had a season-changing trip that sets them up very nicely for the second half. And how remarkable, the club will be three games from the halfway point after tonight. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Carl Steward

  • k [20]

    i’m an admitted david lee critic. i will say, he has been playing well. however, i feel that as long as bogut is around i think lee will excel. his defensive issues can be hidden by boguts ability to help his teammates.

    fun to be watching them during a win streak… the east definitely showcases some weak talent. larry sanders did not look like a franchise player – bad contract…

  • qtlaw88

    1st 7-0 trip in hIstory; that would be amazing for the W’s. The D has been spectacular, very few of the easy shots that used to given up with ease (5 ft runner off a pick ‘n roll) but the niggling issue is the TOs; the W’s just need to min those.

  • Stan

    SI ranks Warriors 2nd in the NBA. Mooovin on uuuuuupp…

  • Stan

    SI went on I should add to say the Warriors have the best defense in the NBA. They even hinted that the Warriors will face the Heat in the finals..and LeBron,SI said,”Cant cover both Curry and Lee”.
    I never thought the day would come when I would read that about a Warrior team. Amazing.

  • Jeff T

    NBA.com’s John Schuhmann has them at 2nd in the Power Rankings as well. IMO, it’s a little high. I buy 6th, maybe as high as 4th.

  • Stan

    Bogut’s shot blocking? Like music to my ears yesterday..you could hear the “boom” when he swatted one. He’s a force. The Warriors finally have a real impact center since.. Clifford Ray?

  • k [20]

    Boy, I only go back to 1987 as my first year watching the Warriors. So, I guess the closest guy to a center the Warriors had was Eric Dampier. For an instance, he looked to be a real big man.

    If Bogut were to add just a couple of points through some post moves, he’d be really something for the Warriors, I think. Right now, he is more comfortable making passes around the hoop and doing some push shots. Would love to see him with a consistently confident hook shot.

  • k [20]

    Yes, if they were beating the West teams consistently, I’d agree that they should be ranked high.

  • Howard Benner

    Hold up, y’all. . .this W’s team hasn’t done nuthin. . .until they realize it’s a 48 minute game & come with that supposedly “best defense in the NBA (what a classic overstatement & “kiss of death” SI curse) all game long, this team has a glass fragile psyche. . .lame from the second quarter on. . .Curry; 34 points but gave up seven turnovers. . .they better get Kyle Lowery, for sure. . .one suggestion for you, Steph; Kevin Garnett has long arms. . .bounce pass that past his leg. . .he can’t bend down as well as he can reach! A game they couldn’t lose; that’s five games they shoulda won that are on the loss side of the ledger. . .not counting the last second loss to OKC. . .LAME!

  • Stan

    The Nets? Cant win em all. And it took the Nets best effort to wear down a Warrior team playing two games in (less then?) 48hours.
    Go team!

  • Howard Benner

    The good teams that aspire to playofff success do. . .See Spurs, San Antonio. . .