The Warriors were tired. Coach Mark Jackson was tired. The whole traveling staff was tired. Heck, I was even tired and I skipped the final two games of the road trip! Everybody associated with the Warriors were tired on Friday night and that was painfully obvious.
Sure, they had energy at the start of both halves, but that’s easy. Maintaining it is a far, far different thing. The Celtics aren’t a great team. They aren’t even a good team. But as David Lee pointed out, what they do well is play hard. That’s a tough matchup for Golden State after just returning from a grueling seven-game road trip.
The schedule makers were not kind to the Warriors. First off, the last part of the trip was ridiculous. From DC to Milwaukee, then back to New York? Who came up with that? And then after returning home early yesterday morning, the Dubs were right back on the court today? And then you’ll give them four days off? Wouldn’t that break have been nice right after the trip ended?
As it turned out, this works. Instead of going into a break after the loss to Brooklyn to close the trip, they’ll enter a much-needed period of rest fresh off a thrilling win. This was a game the Warriors just needed to find a way to get, style points be damned. As Mark Jackson says, “put another one in the bank.”
We saw the bench struggle — again. That was until Mo Speights came alive at the end of the third quarter. The bench is going to be an issue until something is done to address it. But tonight featured a renewed aggressiveness from Andre Iguodala, who led the Warriors with 22. He attacked, he shot the ball often and he carried the team for much of the game. Once again, he proves why he’s such a great fit.
The Warriors are at the 25-win mark and have done so less than halfway into the season. The current pace is for 52.5 wins, probably right in the range most Dubs fans expected for this team. They don’t blow many teams out, but right now are finding ways to grind out those hard to get wins. Each one they chalk up puts them in better and better position when the end of the season rolls around.
That’s it for me tonight. The Warriors keep making things boring for me. They’re now 6-0 when I’m covering them and that streak will be put to the test a week from tonight. I’ll be on the trip to Oklahoma City and New Orleans. Carl Steward will have you covered until then and then he’ll help ease in Diamond Leung when he begins on Jan. 20. Talk to you in a week.