Friday, February 18, 2011

Sports: Why We Should Be Cheering — Not Jeering — the Warriors

By Chris Middleton
Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 1:23 PM

As the Golden State Warriors take a break for this weekend’s All Star festivities, it’s an easy time to pick at the negatives. It’d be easy to note that at 26-29 and 11th place in the West, the team isn’t in prime position to make the playoffs. It’d be easy to reason that the team lacks a strong interior presence, even after signing David Lee to a six-year, $80 million contract. And it’d be easy to complain that Monta Ellis, the league’s fifth leading scorer, was completely snubbed from Sunday’s All Star Game. (Actually, that last one is pretty tempting. )

But as much as we may might want to push the easy button, we're just not thirsty for haterade anymore: When it comes to the Warriors right now, the positives far outweigh the negatives. For one, Monta has been tearing it up since finding out he didn’t make the All Star cut, and he’s been doing it against guards that did get All-Star nods. The latest victim, Deron Williams and the Sloan-less Utah Jazz, came on Wednesday, when Monta scored a game-high 35, including 11 crucial points in the fourth, as the Warriors won their third straight game.

The dubs aren’t completely unrepresented at All Star Weekend either, as Stephen Curry will be participating in tonight’s Rookie/Sophomore game and the Skill Challenge on Saturday. Dorrell Wright is getting love for his blazing shooting this season as well, and will rep the Warriors in the 3-Point Contest on Saturday. Both of these guys are still pretty young and are getting better game by game, so the sky's the limit on how valuable they'll be moving forward.

That can be said for the team as a whole, which has won seven of its last nine games, including wins against Chicago, New Orleans and Oklahoma City. The team is playing together, rebounding has improved, defense is looking stronger, and Lee seems to be getting back to the caliber of play that got him his contract in the first place. The Warriors are only four games out of the playoff hunt, and have already equaled their win total from last season. So if you’re a fan, stop pointing fingers. Put your hands up and cheer this team on.


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