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While you weren’t looking, Golden State got really good

Dec 13, 2012, 4:21 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Miami Heat Getty Images

They are 15-7, on a five-game winning streak all on the road with a signature win now in Miami. Their shooters and offense starting to find a groove while they dominate the glass. They are a team to watch in the Pacific because they are just going to get better.

The Lakers wish we were that writing about them.

But while everyone has watched the Lakers bumble and stumble, while Blake Griffin finishing Chris Paul’s lobs dazzled people, the Golden State Warriors have become a good team. A legitimate playoff team in the West.

A team that should get better as they go forward because their defensive anchor of a center, Andrew Bogut, has yet to play any meaningful minutes, plus key players have actually not been playing as up to levels we know they can reach.

Golden State has become a team to watch under Mark Jackson. This is no fluke. And people in the Bay Area are getting excited.

Part of the sudden improvement is simply health — they have Stephen Curry back and playing like his old self. He is giving them career highs in points (20) and assists (6.5 per game). There is no more trying to share the backcourt with Monta Ellis — who also needed the ball in his hands — he’s got a pure shooter in Klay Thompson back there with him. And what is dangerous is both of them are shooting below their expected levels so far this year — Curry at 43 percent, Thompson at 41.3 percent. When they find the groove the Warriors get better. Behind them they have a quality veteran in Jarrett Jack who can let the Warriors go very small and quick if they want. Jack can make plays.

David Lee is having a strong season inside and has clicked as a front line with Carl Landry — the Warriors lineups with those two on the floor together are their best. And Rookie Festus Ezeli is giving Golden State solid minutes off the bench.

The Warriors have been solid at both ends, with both the 11th best offense and defense in the league (according to the NBA.com stats). The Warriors offense in the seven games they have played this month is 6.1 points per 100 possessions better than in November.

And when they get a healthy Bogut back their defense should improve more — remember that the Bogut we saw in Milwaukee before his injuries was as good defensively as any center in the league.

Jackson has this team having fun on the court again (he even let the guys have a night out in Miami to celebrate after the Heat win, a move not every coach makes). I and others had questions about him as a coach when the Warriors hired him, and the book on him is far from written, but myself and others could be eating some lovely crow pie. Alamode.

It may be time to flip off of whatever channel the Lakers and Clippers are on, because there is another good team in California. And one that can be even more fun to watch.

  1. dannymac17 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Why flip off what channel the Clippers are on as if they are playing badly like the Lakers. The Kings are still the Kings, but kudos to GS. Clippers have a 8 game winning streak with some good road wins. Besides the one game these two played (during a Clippers 4 game losing streak) whats to suggest the Warriors are better than the Clippers? You always backhand the Clippers any chance you get and its sickening, yet you’ll big up the Lakers and pimp slap Vinny D. I don’t know what goes through your head.

    • bayrich - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Bad day? Go dubs!!!!

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      1. He didn’t say the Clippers were playing badly in this article. If you want to get an idea about how well PBT thinks the Clippers are playing, check out the weekly “Power Rankings” which have the Clippers in the top-5.

      2. He never said Golden State was BETTER than the Clippers. He merely pointed out that the Clippers have gotten more interest because they’re arguably the most entertaining team in the NBA, but Golden State is a team that has also looked good so far this year.

      3. Everybody makes fun of Vinny Del Negro. Everybody.

      • dannymac17 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        He sure is talking like it is, maybe your interpretation of this article was different.

    • SOBEIT - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Wow, being in the shadow of LA Lakers for so long has really taken its toll on ya. Try being a Warrior fan…give us at least these few seconds under the bright lights of media attention.

      • dannymac17 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        Can’t went its been decades of misery and Kurt gives backhanded compliments like “Dazzling”.

        We haven’t ever had success, the Warriors have.

      • saint1997 - Dec 14, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        go dubs!

  2. danielao214 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Reblogged this on Daniel's Word.

  3. jerdogthompson - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Gonna have to agree with Dannymac on this one.

    The article was written and more importantly the tone was so apparent that Dannymac is spot on. Bogut or no Bogut the Clippers will dismantle this team, the first win was nothing more than the Clippers overlooking what they considered to be a lesser team. Mark this post, THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.

    • david0303 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      wow clips fans really are the most depressed fans i’ve ever seen, it must suck being the little brother in LA. its pretty sad if the reason you guys lost to the warriors is because you looked at them like a lesser team. i dont know if you remember you guys still haven’t won jack. getting swept in the second round of the playoffs must have given you guys so much confidence. but hey, what ever helps you sleep at night

      • dannymac17 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        Lakers got swept last year in the second round as well, genius.

      • cosanostra71 - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        You know, I still have yet to meet a real live Clipper fan in person. They seem to exist in some places on the internet, I guess.

      • pistol7pete - Dec 13, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        @dannymac17: the Lakers didn’t get swept last year. (I would call you a genius too, but obviously your not one).

      • david0303 - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        lakers have also won a few titles in the last few years…how many do the clips have?

  4. david0303 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    also, draymon green won’t get the recognition he deserves because he doesn’t put up great stats, but hes been one of the most impressive rookies in the NBA this year and has been a major reason for the solid D the warriors have been playing. there’s not a lot of guys out there willing to be the glue guy for a team especially one with such a high basketball IQ like he has. steal of the draft

  5. fm31970 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    “And when they get a healthy Bogut back their defense should improve more — remember that the Bogut we saw in Milwaukee before his injuries was as good defensively as any center in the league.”

    That’s a bit if a stretch. Bogut was above average, but not quite in the top five.

    “When healthy”…there’s always a catch, and with Bogut, it’s always follwed by “if he could only STAY healthy.” GS looks better without him to be honest, playing a bit smaller, and when Bogut returns, they will slow down. He can’t run the floor like he used to be able to three years ago.

  6. fm31970 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    “And when they get a healthy Bogut back their defense should improve more — remember that the Bogut we saw in Milwaukee before his injuries was as good defensively as any center in the league.”

    That’s a bit if a stretch. Bogut was above average, but not quite in the top five.

    “When healthy”…there’s always a catch, and with Bogut, it’s always followed by “if he could only STAY healthy.” GS looks better without him to be honest, playing a bit smaller, and when Bogut returns, they will slow down. He can’t run the floor like he used to be able to three years ago.

  7. kinggw - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Ok Kurt, lets turn down the hyperbole just a bit.

    The Warriors are playing well right now, I wouldn’t go as far to say that they got good. They are on a 5 game winning streak and all 5 games were on the road. While that sounds great, its not as impressive when you look at their opponents over the past 5 games. The Nets have been horrible without Lopez and the Heat lost to the Wiz just last week. Their other three opponents were Detroit, Charlotte, and the aforementioned Wizards. I’m glad Mark Jackson has the Warriors playing better, I still think its a bit premature to say Golden State is a good team.

  8. mrchainbluelightning - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Props to Mark Jackson, and yes I think it’s safe to say that the Warriors are a good team. Good is still a long way from being a great team, I don’t think a healthy Bogut makes them great, but a good solid team that I find entertaining to watch.

  9. acdc363 - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    I was looking.

  10. jjacks1122 - Dec 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    to early to bust out the “We Believe” shirts?!

  11. glink123 - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    The scary part is that Barnes is still figuring out how his game fits this team. If he adds 20 pounds of muscle, he’ll be unstoppable.

  12. rickeye9 - Dec 13, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    The funny thing is, the writer hasn’t watched the warriors, Ezili has started every game except 4( cause bogut played those games) and Like one guy said, Draymond has been the rookie and Barnes has shown flashes of star potential. The warriors are playing well, I mean they are 9-2 vs 500 plus teams, the two losses were the thunder and the griz , so legit teams, but that means they have 5 bad losses already. They are probably a 3rd tier team as of now , behind the thunder , heat( I know we just beat em), Knicks and griZ , then you have the clippers and spurs, well I should put the spurs in the contender section, hmm who am I forgetting for the second tier teams? shoot, maybe the warriors are a second tier team? I don’t know anymore

  13. mazblast - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    You are not allowed to write an article that is positive about a California team unless it’s about the Lakers. The Kings, Warriors, and Clippers exist only to fatten the Lakers’ record. This is The Word of David Stern.

  14. jshawaii22 - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Throw you chests out all you want, Little Boys… not the Clippers, Warriors, Lakers… or anyone else will take the West from the OKC Thunder!

    You can all start dreaming of next year..

    js

  15. cameltoehoe - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    I think the real contest is who had the cutest light skinned brothas! Klay & Steph are fine as hell. And Blake looks like Russell from “Buster & Me”.

  16. cameltoehoe - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Or Dr. Zais from Planet of the Apes.

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