Blogtable: Can anything slow the Warriors?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Slowing the Warriors? | On Budenholzer’s fine … | What you’re thankful for this season



VIDEOInside the NBA’s experts weigh in on Golden State’s 16-0 start

> With their historic 16-0 start, the Warriors’ have captivated the basketball world and have become one of the best early season storylines in memory. Guys, can anything slow this team down? And is there a downside to chasing records in November?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comInjuries can slow down any team, so unless we find out the Golden State trainer’s room actually is a cyborg workshop full of Silicon Valley elves, the Warriors are only one (you know who) or two injuries away from the same foibles and vulnerabilities as the other 29 teams. I also think we’re going to see frustrated opponents start to play them with unprecedented physical force as a way of knocking the league’s reigning darlings for a loop, if not off their game entirely. Downside to never taking nights off? I actually hope there isn’t one. The “rest” pendulum was swinging too far already, in my opinion, at the very real risk of making regular-season ticket buyers feel like chumps. I like seeing the champs put it out there every night, regardless of foe or city.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comI think we can safely rule out complacency or the absence of the coach as potential pitfalls. The Warriors are not chasing records, just playing the game with talent, joy and crunch time ferocity that nobody else can match. The only thing that can slow the Warriors down before the playoffs is the big word nobody wants to mention — injury.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: There is no downside to chasing records as long as a team does not over-extend itself to get there. And the Warriors are not. They need to dial down the minutes for Stephen Curry, but not by a lot. They’re not going crazy to win the championship of November. Can anyone slow this team down? Of course. There’s still forever to go before the playoffs, the only time that matters for teams at their level, and West challengers will be waiting. Golden State is the favorite of the moment and may have the same role in mid-April, but it’s impossible to imagine an easy road through the postseason.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: The Warriors are the only contender that hasn’t played against the most formidable force in the NBA: injuries. Every time you mention how they’ve been blessed with great health, the Warriors recoil and take it as a slap to their ego, but it’s true. A significant injury, at this point, is the only thing that can trip them. As for chasing records early, it doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t interfere with getting their rest in springtime, should they clinch best-record.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comThey’re the best team in the league by a pretty wide margin and they will win at least 65 games. But there will be nights when they don’t have the energy and/or the focus. Heck, they should have lost to Brooklyn last week, but the Nets made a couple of late mental errors and missed a bunny at the buzzer in regulation. There’s no real downside to pushing for a record this early in the season. Most injuries that occur at this point can be recovered from in time for the playoffs, there are 66 more games to be used for rest days, and the champs have already built a three-game cushion in the loss column for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: They will lose a game … at some point. But as far slowing them down, I don’t know who or what could other than the dreaded injury bug, which always serves as the great equalizer (just check with our friends in Oklahoma City). This is a team on a historic pace and I have no problem with them pushing it to the limit right now. I know there will be people lined up to pick them apart if they don’t finish this season in championship fashion, if they burn out in pursuit of 73 wins or whatever other lofty goals they pursue. But eternal greatness requires a bit of tunnel vision and relentless drive that doesn’t come along often. And to come from where the Warriors were as recently as four years ago is an astonishing rise. Don’t interrupt their groove. Not now!

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: I’m probably not alone in guessing that the length of the regular season and the threat of injury will be their biggest obstacle. Can they maintain their focus and still peak at the right time months from now? Health will have everything to do with that answer. In the meantime, as they chase the record of the Bulls, ask whether the NBA was less competitive in the 1990s. In those terms I think Curry may have a tougher assignment than was faced by Michael Jordan.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogTo me, the only thing that can slow down the Warriors is — and I really, really hate to say this out loud — is an injury to one of their key components. Right now they understand their system, the parts that they have, how it all fits together, and they know that if they stick to the system, they can beat anyone. They unlocked the blueprint that works uniquely with this roster, and there’s no downside, no problem, no issues. They are absolutely rolling right now. And it sure is fun to watch.

27 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    From a scheduling standpoint the Warriors schedule was set up very tough to start the season: their first 5 games were New Orleans, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, and Clippers – all playoff teams last year. Granted those teams have ended up struggling in the early part of the season, but the schedulers couldn’t have predicted that. They then played Memphis, Clippers, and Chicago during their next 9 games. And the way they’ve been consistently blowing out teams, this is no fluke. We’ll see how they play OKC and the Spurs when that happens; those appear to be their biggest competitors in the West. But early on in the season it was thought the Clippers would be. Matching up with the Cavs will also be interesting. In any event, they’re playing much more dominantly than any of the other top teams. It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

  2. Phillip says:

    Try a stronger schedule of opponents. This has had to be a set up by those that make the schedules to have a record breaking year.
    Yeah they’re good, but they’re not that good.
    Theyou are beating a lot of struggling teams and basement dwellers.

  3. Jesus Nava says:

    The way I see it, there is two things that can slow diwn the warrios, the first one is the one everybody talks about, injury, staying healthy the second one is keeping the chemistry in the team, having all pulling togheter torse one goal wich is playing together as a team,putting aside individual stats and egos..

  4. The Voice Of Reason says:

    Dear Ian Thomsen, the Warriors are an unbelievable team and playing like they can legitimately challenge or even top the 95-96 Bulls’ record. HOWEVER, if you can actually sit and write journalistic garbage implying that Michael Jordan had it easy, then I am going to find you and slap you in front of your mother.
    The 90’s had some of the greatest players in history and it was a man’s game back then with real physical contact, stuff that today would be automatic flagrant 1 and 2s were only common fouls back then.

    Stephen Curry is playing at a rate that could very well elevate him into the “next Jordan” category of superstars, but please don’t belittle what other teams have accomplished.

  5. Bart says:

    The only way to beat a dominant team like GSW is to
    1. play very physical and
    2. close out relentlessly on whoever has the hot shooting hand and
    3. beat them with their own system: continuous ball movement and keep everyone involved.

    The only teams who could possibly beat them this way in the playoffs are Spurs and Cavaliers (with healthy Irving). Other teams might be able to get a single win during regular season, but beat them in the playoffs? Nope.

  6. King29 says:

    Has anyone noticed they play the Spurs 4 games in the season and all of them come after DECEMBER? IF you check recent seasons they mostly play each other, at least one game in NOVEMBER. Spurs has always been a good match up against Golden State. Strange, isn’t it? Until they have played all teams I would not say NO TEAM can stop them.

  7. jumppong says:

    The Philadelphia 76rs have captivated the basketball world and have become one of the worst nightmare early season storylines in memory. Guys, can anything slow this team down? And is there a downside to chasing records in November?

    LOL it’s not only the warriors who makes history!!!!!

  8. Jumppong says:

    The Philadelphia 76rs have captivated the basketball world and have become one of the worst nightmare early season storylines in memory. Guys, can anything slow this team down? And is there a downside to chasing records in November?

    LOL it’s not only the warriors who makes history!!!!

  9. Gerald Kagaoan says:

    The question is…what will happen if the warriors will battle tough teams like Miami, OKC, Spurs, Cavs,…it’s a tough league.

    • dedefr says:

      Everyone is acting like the Warriors haven’t faced tough competition. They’ve played the Clippers (preseason title contenders, should improve as year goes on), the Rockets (WCF last year, also preseason title contenders), the Grizzlies (Grit and Grind), Toronto (second best team in the East right now), the Bulls (another second tier EC team), and the Timberwolves and Pistons have been tough outs. For comparison, the Spurs have played OKC (preseason title contender), Boston (second tier East), Memphis (Grit and Grind), Dallas (playing well), and Portland (playing well). The Spurs also lost to the Pelicans, who the Warriors beat twice.

  10. Studentofthegame says:

    Its really annoying when writers and fans of other teams ignore most of the facts about why the Warriors have had very few minor injuries the last season and so far this season. Obviously the easy thing to say would be luck and that sure plays a big part in avoiding freak injuries or collision related injuries.
    Its not bullet proof but Injuries can be avoided and their impact reduced, so far GSW and Kerr have clearly stayed ahead of the curve in these key areas.
    1. Deep well built roster (having a well balanced team so the bench isn’t a liability, forcing starters to play longer)
    2. Playing system basketball (not relying heavily on 2 or 3 stars to do all the work but using 10+ players right down the bench)
    3. Minutes management was second to none (taking a page out of coach Pop’s book – no star players pushing 38-40min games)
    4. Training staff and schedule routine (having high IQ players and staff working together on preparation, rest and recovery)
    5. Resting the starters many 4th quarters (a luxury that teams only have when they’re play well, the right way and winning)

    Sure luck (or bad luck) plays a part in certain injuries but its only part of the story.

  11. Nothing is stopping this team. Even an injury or two. Nobody has an answer for them. Well, they are perfect. I can’t help but admire that and if I was a GSW fan, I’d be feeling pretty good right now. Enjoy it while it lasts!!

  12. jjamoretu says:

    I understand why the Warriors take offense, when they here they have not had injuries… not true… remember last year David Lee was the starter got hurt, and Green filled in and remained starter… also Bogut missed several games last year, Ezeli filled in… Thompson
    Missed a few games last year, and Barnes, picked up his scoring… so lets stop with the “GSW being healthy and not having injuries BS”… its called depth, and the next man filled in…. ugh….

  13. Mark from Bay area says:

    I see few vulnerability on Warriors, but Warriors seem to adjust as the game progresses.
    They are very smart basketball team.

  14. Javier says:

    I will like to hear a good comment or highlight news mentioning the Coach and staff in charge at this time for this team, or Curry is also the Coach? I guess yes…keep together the basketball fundamental.

  15. Bob Ellison says:

    Let’s get a little PC here, if U will. And will all the superb scribes here, por favor — please stop using the I-WORD!!!
    Just refer to it as, of course — the I-WORD!!!
    Merci’.

  16. keeping it real says:

    The Warriors are winning because they are unselfish, play great defense and have the best bench in the nba. An injury may slow them down, but in reality the only one that could hurt them is an injury to Curry. This team reminds me of the 1974/75 Warriors and the Michael Jordan Chicago teams. A team with a few superstars and a great supporting cast.

  17. David says:

    Take it for what it is, they are playing high level basketball. Sounds like everyone is hoping for an injury or for them to lose. The story goes, you can’t win them all but why is everyone waiting for that time to happen so you can tear them down.

  18. GO SPURS GO says:

    Spurs is going to send them back down to earth! Season is not yet over!

  19. Brian says:

    If Warriors avoid injuries and Spurs in the playoffs, I don’t know what can stop them.

  20. Dan says:

    Injuries?! We talking bout injuries!? Not a competitive opponent. Injuries?!?

  21. JAF says:

    They lost their starting center for 6.5 games. Klay also missed 2 games due to his back.

    • ray kin says:

      andrew bogut isn’t seeing a lot of minutes because of their flexibility going small-ball. he’s almost expendable. otherwise, like LBJ said, the GSW are the healthiest team in the NBA right now.

  22. rv says:

    San antonio Spurs will knock the Warriors off there feet and give them something to think about

  23. Greg says:

    TTKIN, They’ve avoided injury because they’ve avoided injury. It has little to do with how they play. Anyone in any kind of offense can land awkwardly on a foot and severely twist an ankle or sprain a knee. So far they’ve been very lucky but things have a way of averaging out. Not wishing them bad luck because I love the way the play but injuries are just bad happenings. Look at how Kevin Love got injured. That could easily happen to a Warrior.

  24. TTKIN says:

    Maybe they avoid injuries cuz they play basketball the way it should be played, all over the place. Instead of running full speed into the lane every god d*m time trying to get a foul.

    • Dub Nation says:

      I’d have to agree that the Warriors avoid key injuries in two ways:
      1) if you consistently blow out teams, key players are sitting safely on the bench in the 4th. Also the Warriors are deep enough to where nobody has to play more than 30 minutes a game.
      2) They are still primarily a skilled jump shooting team.You don’t get as many foul calls but you also don’t get smashed down in the post. James Harden in my mind is more likely to sustain an injury because a lot of his game has to do with physical contact.