There’s nothing new about the Golden State Warriors pulverizing yet another opponent on their way towards NBA history. What is interesting is how they got their most recent win – with the bench of Shaun Livingston and Harrison Barnes saving the day, while Stephen Curry, Draymond Green Klay Thompson and the starting unit in general struggling to put away the Miami Heat.
Curry did finish with 31 points but was 11-of-27 from the field (4-of-11 from beyond the arc). Green scored 22 points with 12 rebounds and 6 assists, but wasn’t effective defensively as usual. Klay Thompson scored 17 points, but also hit just 40% of their shots. But the entire lineup, including Brandon Rush and Andrew Bogut, finished with a negative +/-, while the bench unit led by Andre Iguodala and Barnes took care of business early in the fourth quarter.
Every time you have a chance, if you make a mistake they really know how to capitalize. Our guys really played hard, did enough to give ourselves a chance. We couldn’t get over that hump to make it a possession game at the end.
Erik Spoelstra nailed the issue with the Warriors. Even on bad nights from their stars, unless the opponent plays a near perfect game, it’s going to be very difficult to beat them. There’s just so many ways the Warriors can score and change up their style on both ends of the floor, it takes a whole of a lot to happen in order for them to lose. They’ve now improve to 36-2, winning for the 6th consecutive time on their home court.
The Heat not playing Hassan Whiteside (knee problems) might have helped them, as the smaller lineup, with Chris Bosh as the only big man, while Justise Winslow and Luol Deng complete the frontcourt, made it difficult for the Warriors to show their advantages. Six players finished in double figures, including Dwyane Wade with 20 points, but he shot just 6-of-20 from the field, adding 7 rebounds and 11 assists. Chris Bosh finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
What’s next for the Warriors? It doesn’t really matter. On the horizon, besides the attempt at repeating as champions, is the Bulls 72-10 record. The Warriors fell short of that mark last season, but have made it half the way there before the midpoint of the season. If there was any more proof needed in how special this team is, came this 111-103 win over the Heat, showing that relying on bad shooting nights from Curry and co. isn’t going to be enough in order to cause the upset.