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.