As projections and predictions started to surface in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors started to emerge as one of the dark-horse picks to come out of the Western Conference. On paper, it was hard to come up with an argument why they shouldn’t be.
The Warriors were coming off of a 2012-13 season where they entered the postseason as the six-seed, showed phenomenal talent for a young team as they upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round, put up a great fight with a San Antonio Spurs in the second round, and then went out this offseason and signed one of the best players on the market in Andre Iguodala.
Partially due to an injury to Iguodala, but also due to unmet expectations as a whole Warriors started off the 2013-14 season in a surprisingly mediocre fashion. The Warriors were just 9-8 over the first month of the season and things didn’t improve too much over the next couple of weeks as Golden State was at just 14-13 after 19 days in December.
Since dropping to 14-13, though, the Warriors have turned things around and brought a six-game winning streak into Thursday night’s game against the defending champion Miami Heat. Their increased defensive effectiveness has been vital over this streak, but it was their offense that was on display when taking on Miami.
Against Miami, Stephen Curry added 36 points and 12 assists while shooting 13-22 from the floor and 8-15 from three while David Lee shot 13-17 from the field on the way to 32 points. Klay Thompson also added 16 points and Harrison Barnes dropped 15.
An offensive game like this is entirely what the Warriors need to show that they are finally clicking and on the verge of realizing their potential. Sure, they’re going to lose again at some point. However, if they can get their offense going at such a ridiculous and efficient level (56.1 percent from the field and 51.7 percent from three on Thursday) in addition to playing improved defense, the rest of the league needs to be put on notice.