The Golden State Warriors will be one of the toughest teams to beat in the NBA‘s Western Conference playoffs. After Saturday night’s home victory against the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors currently stand in seventh place in the Western Conference with a record of 34-22.
It’s presumed that the Warriors are simply this high-octane offensive-minded team that launches tons of three-pointers with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson leading the way for them. However, they can really win in a variety of ways. Playing without David Lee and Andrew Bogut, the Warriors were able to grind out a 93-86 win over the visiting Nets. They can usually score inside with Lee or Bogut, but it was long-time NBA veteran Jermaine O’Neal that led the way on Saturday night. O’Neal was actually the leading scorer for the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds, and it looked as if he had rewound the clock to 2003.
Mark Jackson arrived in Golden State a few years ago preaching defense. He knew they had the offensive talent to win games. Now, the Warriors can also win with defense, and they have arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA with Andre Iguodala. Iguodala drew the assignment late of shutting down the Nets’ Joe Johnson, who is Brooklyn’s go-to guy down the stretch. Iguodala did to Johnson what he does to most opponents, force them into difficult shots or turnovers. Deron Williams and Andray Blatche were the only Nets to shoot the ball well for a team that shot 41.0 percent from the field and had just 11 assists and 16 turnovers.
Curry struggled to get good clean, looks at the basket all night. Thompson simply did not have his shot going; these nights will happen. If the Warriors can score inside and play the type of defense that they are capable of playing, they will be extremely tough to beat.
The Warriors can beat just about anybody on any given night, which makes them one of the scariest teams in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.