At 30-22, the Warriors are on pace to win 47 games this season. Factor in a home-heavy schedule the rest of the way – the Warriors have more home games left this season than any other NBA team – and there is certainly a possibility that this squad can flirt with 50 wins. So how will the Warriors fare the rest of the way? We go back to our “starting five” of Warriors bloggers to get their opinion …
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report, WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
They've hit a rough patch, but I expect them to get better once they ease into their home-heavy end of the season. Let's say 48 wins. And let's say "playoffs" for the first time in six years.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
While Bogut's impact is definitely a positive one for the long-term, there's also an adjustment period and I think we've seen that as one of the many facets of the Warriors' recent struggles. But as far as season-long trajectory, assuming Bogut's progress has no hiccups as well as no other major injuries on the roster, we should see things trending toward a higher ceiling than before. A lot will depend on the standings and against whom the Warriors will be matched up in the first round. I should also mention that a starting five with Bogut is a playoff-caliber lineup, something the Warriors haven't had since perhaps the Joe Barry Carroll years (1986-87, yikes!).
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
As I'm writing this, the Warriors are coming off a four-game losing streak after four consecutive wins (Editor’s Note: The Warriors have lost five-straight games heading into the All-Star Break). It's safe to say they're facing their first rough patch of the 2012-13 season, but I'm not panicking. Their schedule is quite favorable the rest of the way, and even with the defensive and rebounding hiccups seen over the last week I think they'll get back to work after a nice six-day All-Star break and finish with 46-48 wins and a No. 6 seed.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Despite dreading January since the release of the schedule, February has turned out to be the toughest month for the Warriors. My guess is they'll regain some stability after the All Star break, focus on tightening up the defense and fully integrate Bogut into the system. The end of the schedule is heavy with home games, so the team should build some nice momentum heading into the playoffs. They're at 30-22 now and should go at least 17-13 over the remaining games. Roughly 47 to 49 wins should put them in the 5 to 7 seed range. Whether they advance past the first round will depend upon the opponent. They match up well against the Clippers, would have a shot against the Grizzlies, could entertain spoiler dreams against the Thunder and would be utterly doomed against the Spurs.
Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
January provided the Warriors with one of their tougher stretches of the season and February hasn't been much kinder. Despite that, Golden State still finds themselves with a winning record and plenty of room to improve. Come March, they play 11 of their 16 games at home where, as usual, they've played very well. Out of those 16 games only a handful are against quality opponents. They must find a way to take advantage of this favorable scheduling in order to strengthen their playoff resume and position themselves with the best seed possible heading into the last month of the season. The Warriors have looked like a playoff team for most of the season and despite recent struggles on the road, they should still find a way to break their well-documented playoff drought.
We hope you have enjoyed the Bloggers Roundtable so far. The group will be back on Friday with an evaluation of Head Coach Mark Jackson, but until then, you can read up on their first two answers of this five-part discussion.