Merry Christmas, Dub Nation!
A time for thanks and gratitude
It’s Christmas Eve here as I write this. The presents are all wrapped, the tree is sparkling prettily, and everything is warm and full of excitement ahead of the big day. No matter what you celebrate, we here at Dub Nation HQ wish all of you a happy season and prosperous new year!
It helps put a little perspective on basketball. The Golden State Warriors are back from their road trip, which was every bit as rough as forecast. Thankfully, it looks like the Warriors are on the mend, with both Donte DiVincenczo and Andrew Wiggins ramping back up towards a return today.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (15-18) vs Memphis Grizzlies (20-11)
WHEN: December 25th, 2022 // 5pm PDT
WATCH: ABC, ESPN
Another couple weeks without Curry
The Memphis Grizzlies are looking forward to this game today. Like much of the league, there’s some pent up payback brewing that the Grizzlies would love to uncork on national television against a Warriors team that has spent most of the last decade running the show.
There was a Curry update yesterday, but it falls into the “no news is good news” type of update. According to the Warriors PR department, everything is going about as well as expected, and they’ll reassess again in two weeks.
That puts Curry’s return out towards mid January. Another six games or so? That recent road trip was a known problem coming in, but 1-5, including a couple of ugly big losses was about as it could have gone (barring some sort of additional injury). Draymond Green went so far as to call the team very fragile.
All NBA teams operate on the edge. With a key injury or two, it’s not hard to swing from a contender to a lottery team. Golden State is only kind of on fragile footing right now. The injuries have stacked up on top of early problems to turn this season into a much more white knuckled ride than anyone hoped coming in. That said, after going through such a drastic roster shuffle, some bumps were definitely to be expected.
And thankfully, the Western conference has met the Warriors in the middle. Yes, the whole “tread water” thing hasn’t panned out without Curry. But take a look at the standings. I’m not sure how easily any team will be able to claw out some separation in here, but note that the Warriors are just two games back from fourth place.
Even two or three games up the ladder clears the Warriors from the play-in tournament.
Of course, the goals here are much more lofty than that, but it’s all in flux. If the youngsters can keep learning, if the veterans get healthy… but today, none of that helps. Even assuming Wiggins returns, this is a Golden State roster with some clear holes in the rotation, and new players that are still figuring out how to be effective in coach Steve Kerr’s system.
After the last game, Kerr touched on this exact situation as a sort of silver lining. You got to squint your eyes a little bit too see it, but there is a bright side to all of this - especially if you can keep one eye on the rest of the standings.
"There's depth across the West, but that's a good thing for us because, as you said, everybody is kind of beating each other," Kerr said. "Even though we're where we are in the standings, we're not too far behind where we need to be. So there's plenty of time for us to get going."
Plenty of time!
I predict that everyone will have a lovely day today. Please enjoy this time today. A moment of thanks and reflection ahead of a fresh new year. Happy holidays, DNHQ, thanks for being a part of what makes this community so special.