The Golden State Warriors have been a mixed bag in the month of March. Despite currently being 4-2 on longest home stand of the season, the team has had both highlights and lowlights this month against Eastern Conference foes.
Before returning home to Oracle Arena for a series of games at home spanning nearly two weeks long, the Warriors stumbled on the road by losing four straight against Eastern Conference (Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers). Despite a huge 54-point effort by Stephen Curry against the Knicks and closely contested battles, the losses definitely made the Warriors lose ground on their No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings.
Returning home to face two teams destined for the lottery in the Toronto Raptors and the Sacramento Kings, the Warriors came away with victories but not in a dominating fashion. Then, back-to-back losses to the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks once again cast doubt into the minds of the Warriors franchise and fans alike as to whether they could hold onto their playoff spot in this final stretch of the season.
Thankfully, this week has brought some promise back to the Warriors’ hopes of not having to compete for the No. 8 spot in the West, a scenario they’re all too familiar with and would rather want to avoid this year.
In their most dominant defensive effort of the season, and statistically one of the best single-game defensive efforts by any team this season, the Warriors made the Knicks shoot just 27 percent from the field and allowed just 63 points on Monday night. Despite grinding out an eight-point victory on Wednesday night, their win over the Detroit Pistons was decisive. The Warriors were guided by the efforts of Curry and David Lee and took care of business against a beatable opponent.
With a 37-29 record on the season, the Warriors now hold one-game lead over the Houston Rockets and are now three games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in the No. 8 spot. Every win by the Warriors is huge at this point of the season, while every loss by the Rockets, Lakers or Utah Jazz helps towards their cause. This week of winning has certainly been welcome before heading back on the road for a tough stretch of games to start next week.
Austin Chang is an Associate Editor for Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.