If 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists are considered as a slow day for Stephen Curry, than the Golden State Warriors have a lot to feel good about. However, their 104-96 win over the Detroit Pistons was an example of being more than just a team that relies on the scoring of their star player.
So Curry was only 6-of-15 from the field and 3-of-9 from beyond the arc. The Warriors shot very well from the outside, hitting 45.4% of their shots when it wasn’t Curry trying to hit the 3. Klay Thompson finished with 19 points, Jermaine O’Neal had a 16-10 night against a team he really doesn’t like and Jordan Crawford was excellent in his time off the bench with 15 points, 12 of them coming from three-pointers.
The Pistons were their usual inefficient selves: Only 40.4% from the field as Josh Smiths goes crazy with 9-of-24 and Brandon Jennings was pretty much the same on 4-of-13 from the field, cancelling out a good game from Greg Monroe (23 points) and Kyle Singler with 18 points.
The big difference was the fourth quarter. Detroit managed to stay in the game thanks to their offensive rebounding, grabbing 16 as Andre Drummond had no problem playing against two centers while David Lee wasn’t playing at all. However, in the fourth quarter the Pistons’ offense went completely numb, scoring 13 points, almost outscored just by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, combining to score 12 points in the final period of the game.
It’s not necessarily going to be flash and fun every night. If we’re going to have a chance to really compete for a championship, these are the types of games you’re going to have to win in the playoffs. We have a fairly young team and these games like this build the character and the image of the team.
But this is the 2014 version of the Warriors, bolstered by what they did last year as well. Stephen Curry is obviously the face of this franchise, while Klay Thompson and him combine to make the Splash brothers, but the Warriors are much more than just offense and shooting 3’s. David Lee isn’t considered to be a tough big man, but Andrew Bogut certainly is, and Andre Iguodala wasn’t brought over for the points. He wasn’t that kind of player when the Nuggets signed him as well. He’s there for defense, leadership and taking the ball off of Curry sometimes, so he can play without the ball when the Warriors need him to.
Is this a complete team, good enough to win the West? For the most part no, but part of that has been injuries. A healthy Warriors team has an outstanding starting lineup with a bench that finally fills almost all of their needs. It might eventually simply come down to talent when they’re facing off against another Western contender, and Curry at this stage of his career probably doesn’t feel inferior no matter who he’s facing, but shouldn’t feel any less confident about the ability of his teammates to step up when he’s not exactly on fire.