NBA Writer: If Warriors Defend More Consistently, They Can Be Even Better

Remember when the Golden State Warriors got blown out in their season-opener, losing at home to the San Antonio Spurs, 129-100, and a lot of people were freaking out about chemistry and ball movement and whether the Steph Curry-Kevin Durant experiment would be a colossal failure? Remember that?

Well, the Warriors (12-2) have won 12 of their last 13 games, including nine by double digits.

Is it safe to say that the Warriors will once again run away with the best record in the league?

“It’s possible,” NBCSports.com writer Kurt Helin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I don’t know about running away. As long as the Clippers are playing like this, I don’t know that they’re going to run away.”

The Clippers (13-2) have the best record in the league, while the Cavaliers (10-2) and Spurs (11-3) aren’t far behind.

“It’s funny because (the Warriors are) going to have a better record probably than Cleveland,” Helin said. “The thing is, Cleveland knows Toronto and Boston and Atlanta have played pretty well so far, but they know they’re the class of that conference. They know they can turn it on for (a) half most nights and get a win against most anybody in the East, and they kind of play like that at times. I don’t want to knock how they’re playing because when they’re focused, they’re really good. They just don’t have to bring that like Golden State’s going have to.”

 

If the Warriors don’t bring it every night – or pretty close to it – they’re not going to get home-court advantage in the playoffs. Golden State is 8-1 on the road this season, but you don’t want to play a potential Game 7 in Los Angeles or San Antonio.

“The margin for error with the Clippers and the Spurs behind them is a lot smaller,” Helin said. “Those are good teams. Popovich is chewing his team out after a win (over Dallas on Tuesday) – deservedly so, frankly – but chewing them out after a win. That said, when (the Warriors) start to defend more consistently, (they’ll be better). They have 30 assists in nine straight games. They aren’t just isolating and killing you. They’re finding the guy with the hot hand – it’s getting ridiculous.”

The Warriors play the Lakers in back-to-back games Wednesday and Friday. Tip-off from ORACLE on Wednesday is slated for 10:30 p.m. ET.

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