Curry, Luka, and the difficulty of building around a star
Golden State hoping to start a road winning streak as they visit Dallas
The Golden State Warriors finally picked up their second road win of the season, and now are right back in action hoping for another one in Dallas. The Mavericks are led by Luka Doncic, and have found themselves in a surprising struggle so far this season - much like the Warriors, they’re fighting to play .500 ball.
It’s still early in the season, but a good indicator as to just how hard it is to stay elite in the modern NBA is watching how hard these teams all have to fight throughout the year to figure themselves out. Golden State looks like they’ve begun to solve the problems that plagued them earlier in the year, and now it’s time to test themselves against a team that could very well meet them again in the playoffs.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (11-10) at Dallas Mavericks (9-10)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 // 4:30pm PDT
WATCH: TNT; NBCSBA
Curry, Luka, and the difficulty of building around a star before it all implodes
Before getting into any analysis, let’s just take a few moments to relive the glory of that Andrew Wiggins dunk that I used for the header image today. Up 2-0 in the series, the Warriors went into Dallas and snatched away any hope that the Mavericks might have had. That’s the scary part about this team: yes, worry about Curry; but he’s far from alone.
Now, shifting our focus to the present, take a look at the shooting splits of Stephen Curry. Even for a player that has helped revolutionize the modern NBA, this is one heck of a start for the best player to ever wear a Warriors jersey.
At the time of writing, Golden State is just three games out of first place in a crowded Western Conference. Far from lost, this season has been admittedly weird as the roster and rotations settled into place. But now that things are less cloudy, there’s a palpable sense of momentum starting to emerge.
In Dallas, they’re still waiting for it to all come together. After an ignominious departure (at the hands of Golden State) from last year’s playoffs, the Mavericks are only one game behind the Warriors - but that puts them all the way down at 11th in the Western Conference. How much that one game matters is up to debate; but it feels significant.
As the Warriors have weathered the calls for a roster shakeup, Dallas is dipping their toes in the water. It’s a good reminder of the type of player that can be obtained by a team with limited capital and even less salary room to work with.
There’s an art to roster construction. As we’ve seen with the failure of numerous superteams, you can’t just throw together a bunch of talent and expect it to work. Well you can, and teams frequently do expect things that don’t end up happening.
Golden State has found a core that works, even as eyes turn towards what comes next. It’s natural to wonder what’s around the next bend, but to me, the most illuminating part of the early season was that we should never ever doubt this Warriors core.
It’s another early game for those of us in California, but it’s starting to feel like the Warriors have begun to figure it out. Leave work early, watch the Warriors pick up their third road win.