Over the last 12 years, nobody has really accused the Warriors of having their act together. They've burned through a litany of coaches, a couple of really bad GMs, and more than one first round draft choice with nothing to show for them but more new coaches, front office suits, and first round draft choices.
Another hallmark of the modern-day Warriors' mean mean stride has been their fast starts, awful middles, and decent finishes. Even in their worst years, the Warriors managed to finish the season on an uptick, perpetually giving false hope for the next season – even if that hope was just a Lottery pick.
This year had all the looks of more of the same, but a funny thing happened on the way to the cellar: the bottom fell out of the middle of the Western Conference.
Look out Western Conference, there's a new sheriff in town (actually an eighth-seed deputy hopeful, but who's counting). Photo from espn.com.
With the Clippers’ loss to San Antonio Tuesday night, your Golden State Warriors are just 0.5 games, that’s one-half of one game, out of the playoffs. Oh, it’s on, baby!
Yes, the Warriors stumbled through their traditional January and February fog, going 10-19 between January 1 and March 4 to fall as many as nine games below .500 and as many as four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. But the good news is they have not been alone. Minnesota and Denver, two teams that were several games above .500 going into January have fallen on hard times and are struggling. The Clippers, Kings, and Hornets have surged, but got off to such bad starts that their improved play has only moved them into the fringes of the playoff discussion. Portland lurks yet in hopeful mediocrity.
So the Warriors have not exactly shined the last couple of months, but they haven't had to. They've done an adequate job bailing water and keeping the ship somewhat afloat with duct tape, wishful thinking, and good intentions -- and that February trade sure didn't hurt. Now they find themselves in prime position to capture that last playoff spot. Hell, with the Lakers in freefall, even the six spot is a legitimate possibility.