We close out the Bloggers Roundtable today, but not before Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy), Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break), Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Bleacher Report, WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com) and Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) offer their thoughts on one more topic. Let’s get right to it …
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
They came into this year with a more NBA-ready roster than we've seen in the past several seasons, and they've been fun to watch. They've gotten something out of all three draft picks, which is fairly remarkable. They have one All-Star and another guy who deserved to go. They're an excellent 3-point shooting team, and on defense they've improved quite a bit since last year (last five games notwithstanding). The Warriors are in a good position to make the playoffs, so it's pretty hard to find things to complain about considering how they looked at the end of last season.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
I've been pleasantly surprised by how well the team has played following the early injuries to Rush and Bogut. Jack and Landry have brought a veteran toughness to the team. Barnes has brought a youthful explosiveness. Curry and Lee are having All Star, if not quite superstar, seasons. Returning to the first round of the playoffs will be fun, but I'd love to see the team set its sights on something bigger. To be more than first-round fodder for a Western Conference power, the Warriors will need to prove that the stingier defense earlier this season wasn't a fluke. But overall, this team is easy to like – they play as a cohesive unit, have grown together week by week of the season, and hopefully have their best games still ahead of them.
Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
If I had to boil the Warriors' season down to one word, it would be "surprising." It was hard to see this team having any sort of sustained success after Brandon Rush and Andrew Bogut were no longer part of the everyday preparations and with three rookies playing key roles. But, with a new-found commitment to defense and rebounding, they managed to weather the storm until Bogut returned and have put themselves in a solid position to play playoff basketball. Along this path to relevance, they've managed to put up some surprising statistics as well. They're currently 4th in the league in rebounding and 6th in opponent field goal percentage. The Warriors of old wouldn't even dare dream of being in the top 10 of these categories. Oh, and they also picked up their first All-Star since 1997 in David Lee. Floating this high above .500 is unchartered territory for the Warriors but they've shown thus far that they are actually a good basketball team when they play the way they're supposed to. If they can remain healthy for the rest of the season, they have the talent and depth to not only make the playoffs, but to cause some trouble for any and all teams they may potentially face.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report, WarriorsWorld & ESPN.com | @SherwoodStrauss
The Warriors are carried by the collective decent, not the individually brilliant. This is a team without superstars, but with good players all around. At best, they remind me of the early 70's, team-first Knicks. At worst, they remind me of every Warriors team since Baron Davis left. To not rely on a superstar is a precarious circumstance. GSW needs health from nearly everyone on the roster. If that happens, I wouldn't be shocked to see this squad win a playoff series or two.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
After so many years of futility, I can safely say that this year has been a blessing. I would recommend to every Warriors fan: enjoy the experience right now because with success comes a new set of expectations. It's evident that, barring a complete meltdown, the Warriors will make the playoffs this year and there will be expectations of making the playoffs every year henceforth. However, I think every observer of the Warriors sees the proverbial elephant in the room – deep down, the average Warriors fan is ecstatic, but perhaps doesn't want to show it because the franchise has finally gained respectability as a serious contender, and serious contenders aren't satisfied with the status quo.
That does it for the midseason edition of the Bloggers Roundtable. The warriors.com staff sends a big thank you to this “starting five” of bloggers for participating in this unique web forum. We hope Dub Nation has enjoyed reading this over the last few days, and if you missed any segment of this discussion, simply click on the questions below.