Will the Warriors Win Home Court Advantage?

Klay Thompson puts up a shot against the Miami Heat, Feb. 27, 2019.  (Photo via: Jesse D. Garrabrant, Getty Images)

March 8, 2019 — Warriors have been playing all over the map, literally and figuratively, and it’s been difficult to keep up with their regular season attitude. Some games feel as if they are close to a victory (Miami) and others are a true gut hitting loss (Celtics).
Let’s recap:


Kings

Thursday night when the Warriors faced the Kings in Oakland they fought until the last second to come out with a win. I almost thought Buddy Hield (19 points, seven rebounds two assists) was going to hit a third unbelievable three for the win, but instead he threw up an air ball up as time expired.

The Kings led by 11 well into the third quarter Kevin Durant 100% to win this game (28 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks). His defense was key, blocking five of Marvin Bagley III’s shots early on. Klay was barely warmed up against the Kings, yet he somehow managed to put up a few good shots in the end to bring the Warriors up to a comfortable lead. It took the Warriors a lot of effort to come out on top against the Kings. Every time we face the Kings I’m truly surprised when we come out on top because they are one of the harder teams to beat.

Rockets

It is almost expected of the Warriors to bounce back from being behind in a game, to catch up and win in the end. That fantasy was so far gone in this game and let’s remember, the Warriors are 0-3 against the Rockets this season.

When Harden is on the court it is difficult to say that this energy will remain prominent in the rest of the team. Harden is known to be sort-of selfish on the court; he acts as if each player he faces is a 1:1 match up and his end goal is to be on top. The thing about basketball is, is one person cannot beat five (duh), and specifically five All-Stars at once. Once Curry starts to get hot, Harden will play hard against him. Well luckily for Curry he has Durant, that will lead Harden to get inside his head again ‘I’m definitely better than KD, I can take him.’ Then KD will move the ball to Klay or Draymond more and the cycle continues, until Harden is missing shots, exhausted and eventually loses for the team.

Without Harden on Saturday night the Rockets came out on top and dominated the Warriors on both ends of the court. The Warriors were scoreless the first four minutes of the quarter, by the end of the first the score was 15-8. Their ball movement was phenomenal, shooting was accurate and the play making was pretty unstoppable.

Heat

Let’s start with Dwayne Wade’s buzzer winner:

Warriors were down the entire first half (again) against Miami and finally pulled through in the fourth to close the gap. Just as the seconds were winding down, KD gets fouled and sent to the free-throw line. GREAT! Two free points, oh jk. KD missed the first and hit the second, making the score 125-123. Wade took it upon himself to shoot a crazy three and win the game. Can’t be too upset because it’s his final season, but I’m #upset.

Klay Thompson had 36 points, but that was still not enough to beat the Heat (ha). It’s hard to get back in a groove when the opposing team is racking up numbers early on.

Magic

Another loss, I know other fans are out there biting their nails about their teams making the playoffs, but an L is still an L to me! Warriors couldn’t even reach 100 points to close out this game. The Magic led the Warriors until late in the third quarter. Nikola Vucevic got a technical foul and Steph hit the free throw tying the game at 63. Finally the Warriors caught up and led well into the fourth. Eight minutes left in the fourth and the Warriors were stuck at 85 points and unable to score. Terrance Ross (16 points, four rebounds, five assists) hit a deep three to bring the Magic to 80-85. That fired up the Magic offense to a point where Ross hit another amazing three to tie the game at 89.

Times like this are when Curry takes it upon himself to scramble all over the court, get open for another insane jumper – yet he ends up missing. Then the opposing team picks up the rebound and two more points (or three if they are really feeling themselves), and the lead progresses. Clock winds down and another L.

Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Warriors vs 76ers in Philadelphia on Mar. 2 (Photo via Jesse D. Garrabrant, Getty Images)

76ers

The 76ers are a strong hard team that continue to put up a fight against the Warriors. They barely won this game and Klay Thompson was out due to knee injury (which came out negative). Durant had to put up 34 points to come back and win this game, once again the team trailed in the first quarter and the two were pretty close in numbers the entire game.

Celtics

This was a hard one to watch. The Warriors trailed yet again in the beginning. The media has been highlighting the lack of communication between the Celtics lately, and of course the team came together in Oracle Tuesday night to dominate against the Warriors 🙄.

Thompson was out again, which I feel affects the Warriors defensively. Thompson is a crucial player around the arc offensively and defensively, he is constantly putting pressure on shooters and taking pressure off Curry and Durant to take shots. Klay would’ve had to play as two people Tuesday night to beat the rhythm the Celtics had.

Gordon Hayward had a fantastic night scoring 30 points, four assists and seven rebounds off the bench. Kyrie Irving had 19 points 11 assists and 1 rebound. Irving was constantly getting the ball around and looked like a true leader on the court.

“It looked to me like we were jogging up the floor. You can’t play basketball jogging. You’ve got to sprint,” Kerr said. “Your cuts have to be hard. You have to be going all out. We did not go all out and it was embarrassing.”


Teams play their best when it comes to playing against the Warriors, especially in Oracle. Lately, the Warriors have been pretty lax in the beginning, banking on a third quarter rally to win the game. I’m not so sure that mentality is going to last, especially as playoffs near. Frankly, the offense is to blame in my opinion, as the Warriors haven’t really been known for their strong defense. Is Cousins to blame? Not entirely, but he does tend to draw a ton of attention to himself which sends off a negative chain reaction…

Don’t get me wrong I think Cousins is a great asset, shoot I wrote a whole blog on why.
Steve Kerr said in an interview recently that he wants the Dubs to “lock in” and gain home court advantage come April. Let’s hope this charade of not playing 90% each game fades away and the Warriors start to play some composed, united basketball.

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