The Golden State Warriors are 6-12, good for 13th place and 4.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. And while three of their six wins are inexplicably over the Bulls, Heat and Trail Blazers, after a 2-1 start, things are not good for the Warriors.
“Absolutely,” coach Mark Jackson said when asked if his team would still make the playoffs, as he proclaimed when he was hired.
“We have everything we need to put together a great run and a stretch of winning basketball. I still believe that. No question about it.”
They say the power of positive thinking can do amazing things, but even this is a bit of a reach. Obviously Mark Jackson is going to believe in his team, but maybe he should start preparing for the slight chance that the Warriors don’t outperform five teams for the rest of the season.
After preaching defense, the Warriors remain one of the worst teams in the league on that side of the ball. They’re currently the fifth-worst team in the league, giving up 107 points per 100 possessions in a season where scoring is down across the board. They’re in the bottom 10 in every one of the defensive Four Factors (effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage, defensive rebound rate and free throws per field goal attempt) except for forcing turnovers, where they sit exactly at the league average. Basically, still the Warriors defensively.
Which might be OK if they were any good offensively. They’re currently 12th in the league in points per 100 possessions, which isn’t anything to write home about. They shoot the ball pretty well, but they turn it over so often (15.6 times a game, ninth-worst in the league) that it doesn’t really matter. They don’t grab any offensive rebounds and they don’t get to the line very often. Other than that, looking good.
What’s worse, despite the fact they’re playing .500 ball against the Eastern Conference (5-5), they’ve only won one of seven games against the West. The Warriors have played a pretty hard schedule thus far, but that’s going to be the case all throughout the season, since they’re stuck in the West. They’ll never make up games if they can’t beat the teams they’re chasing.
How bad will the Warriors’ record have to be before Mark Jackson admits they’re not going to make the playoffs? Right now, it feels like even if the season ended and the Dubs were on the outside looking in, Mark Jackson would still have them show up for practice just in case something happens and the league decides to include a few more teams. You gotta believe.