Just where would the Warriors be if they had just kept Jeremy Lin? Answer is probably the same place they are now and we never would have had Linsanity at all. Steph Curry was not going to be dethroned by Jeremy Lin anytime soon. So consider that Golden State's Gift to the NBA. This is a franchise that has seen little success in the last 20 years. Aside from the one year they made the playoffs and upset the Mavericks in Dirk's MVP Season. They brought in Mark Jackson with zero coaching experience other than what he learned sitting next to Jeff Van Gundy for a few years. Jackson has guided the Warriors to a 14-19 start. Rumors that Monta Ellis is on the market will follow this team around for the next 11 days. It seems the Warriors have never been big enough for both Curry and Ellis to live in harmony. Still on a team lacking a lot of talent aside from maybe a David Lee can they really afford to let Ellis go?
Warriors have won 3 of their last 5 games with note worthy wins over the Clippers and Hawks as part of that. Golden State seems to be one of those Western Conference teams that is not good enough to be in the playoff mix but not bad enough to cash in via the lottery. Forever in that 10-12 range in the West is not the place to live. What Jackson has tried to do is similar to what Dwane Casey has tried to do in Toronto. Take a team that rarely considered what defense was and make them more defensively aware. This comes at a price of less offense to a degree. The break neck up and down running Warriors are being slowed a bit. Still the Warriors can score the basketball with 7th best points per game in the league.
As for the Raptors it is the same old story in many ways. They have been close but can't close the deal. At least that is the way they want to look at it. If you just look at simple things, like how they start games more often than not, along with how they tend to finish quarters in general, you see the problems. While it is better to lose by 1 than it is 21 on some level. If you consistently lose regardless of the difference on the scoreboard at some point the margin doesn't matter. You see that in Demar DeRozan taking his frustrations to Twitter recently. I would see this as an important time for the Raptors if they are going to remain competitive and scrappy. It sure seems like they are just about at the boiling point in terms of losing. See this is the problem with the whole tank way of thinking. Human beings don't like losing and they tend to react to that fact in negative ways more than positive ones.
3 keys TO STOP THOSE MEN
1. Shooters all over the place. Warriors will not be shy to fire at will from 3 point line so perimeter defense is essential today.
2. Transition Defense too. When they are not chucking up 3's they will look to be running in transition so hope you got your rest on Saturday Night.
3. Little Things Matter. How you start the game, how you finish a quarter, Playing a consistent 48 minutes rather than a scattered one. All this little things are what is costing the Raptors. Take care of the basketball while your at it.
This is one of those stupid 6pm tip times that I have never been a fan of. So be advised.