The Golden State Warriors are contenders, and proved as much with a convincing 1o3-88 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
It’s a statement that Warrior fans want to hear; need to hear. It’s definitely a statement that has bearing after a beat down of the league’s number one offense.. Not only did they hold the Trail Blazers to 33.7 percent, the assists-to-turnover ratio was just 16 to 14. It was an impressive feat that definitely proved that the Warriors’ defense is back in play. If there is any doubt in the victory, it’s that the Trail Blazers were on a back-to-back. But, to counter that, the Warriors needed to take care of business and beat contending teams when there is an disadvantage involved — and there was definitely one.
The win was a good example of their recent turnaround. They’re currently second in the Pacific Division at 27-18 and needed a couple specific questions answered: can they play defense? And are they tough enough?
Well, the victory against Portland proved that they had defense. A brilliant front court defense against both Damian Lillard and Mo Williams was on full display against the Trail Blazers. The help defense was not only there, but players sprinted to positions to back the other up. As for toughness, only one name needed to be mentioned: David Lee. Lee is usually the name you point for a lack of defense, but he defended LaMarcus Aldridge better than many players at his position. He pushed and hounded Aldridge to a 2-14 night for only 10 points. It was brilliant defense all-around from a team that needed a showcase game for it.
The doubts are still there because of the circumstances. It was a home game at Oracle Arena, it was against a tired team off a back-to-back, and Stephen Curry did Stephen Curry things. But, they needed the win and if it came from the home court and against a tired opponent, so be it. The Warriors looked great against the Trail Blazers and should continue to bark at the top teams of the NBA.
Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons
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