The Golden State Warriors aren’t a one-headed monster, but their offense does rely heavily on whether or not Stephen Curry is having a good shooting day. He usually does. A ordinary day from him almost guarantees a win. Add that to Klay Thompson being just as on fire? They’re pretty much impossible to beat.
Curry scored 33 points and Thompson had 32 as the Warriors carried on their over-a-year of dominance against the Los Angeles Clippers in a 114-98 win. There was feistiness to this rivalry last season. Everyone thought the Clippers would be the team to knock off the Warriors in the postseason, but they didn’t make it to the conference finals. An early season collapse (a word strongly associated with the Clippers in the Doc Rivers era) was the last time the Clippers were close to the Warriors in any game.
There’s a distinction to make about the Warriors. Stephen Curry is their best and most important player. Their second most important player is Draymond Green for his defense, passing ability and maybe most importantly, the trait of pulling this team forward when it gets stuck or falls behind. Andre Iguodala is the third player on the “important” list because he’s the third playmaker while being capable of guarding a lot of players.
Then there’s Thompson. He’s not a passer like Green or Iguodala and is always one step behind Curry when it comes to scoring. But he’s still one of the best shooting guards in the NBA and the second best scorer on this team. He’s not too far behind Curry in terms of three-point shooting. He’s just playing next to someone who is making history, so his achievements and overall production is sometimes overlooked.
Are the Warriors going to make it? Steve Kerr has said they’re all about breaking the record, and maybe then give themselves a little bit of rest before the season is over. In most of the games the Warriors have left, he can afford to rotate some players and rest one key member of this team at a time, but when breaking the Bulls’ 72-10 season is so close (eight wins away from tying it), you don’t take unnecessary risks. The Warriors believe they have a good enough team to make the push (which is taking a toll) in the regular season (they eased up last season once they record was out of reach) and still have enough left in the tank once the playoffs begin.
Thompson might be talked about less than Curry and Green because what he does isn’t unique, it’s simply Curry 2.0 in a different, less flashy package, but he’s one of the three or four things that generates superiority for a team that’s talked about in historic terms, leaving no doubt whatsoever (Except for a pesky group in San Antonio) about who the best NBA team right now is.