The Weekly Dish, Presented by Mountain Dew Kickstart

by Brian Witt

For the week of Monday, Jan. 1 – Sunday, Jan. 7

Record: 2-1

Happy New Year Dub Nation!

Now that the ball has dropped and the holidays are over with, it's time to turn our attention back to basketball, where the Warriors are managing their way through the regular season with great success.

Following a pair of victories over the Jazz and Grizzlies and a loss to the Hornets last week, Golden State currently sits at 29-8 on the season, two games ahead of Houston for the top spot in the West. They concluded their season-long seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record, and went 13-2 in December, matching the franchise record for most wins in the final month of the calendar year (also done last season).

Last week also served as the end point for two significant time periods.

First, it provided the final moments of what was a wildly successful year for Golden State. Not only did the Dubs win the 2017 NBA Championship after going an historic 16-1 in the postseason, but the regular seasons that bookended that championship run have been nearly as impressive. In addition to their 29-8 record on the current season, the Warriors also went 38-10 in the 2017 portion of the previous regular season campaign. All that equates to a comprehensive record of 83-19 (.814) in the 2017 calendar year. For reference, Golden State won 80.6 percent of their regular season and playoffs games in 2016.

Second, and most importantly moving forward, the Dubs also got Stephen Curry back for the final game of 2017 after the two-time MVP missed the previous 11 games with a sprained right ankle.

I'm not sure what's more worth getting excited about: the fact that Golden State went a mighty impressive 9-2 in those games without Curry, or the fact that he looked as good as ever in his first game back after missing more than three weeks.

Standout Spotlight: Stephen Curry

He may have only played one game, but he sure made it count. Curry made it seem like he never left, jumping right back into the swing of things to lead a dominant Warriors' attack in the win over Memphis, in what turned out to be one of the most effective offensive games of his decorated career. Curry scored 38 points on 17 shots and made an NBA season-high 10 three-pointers in the victory over the Grizzlies. That equates to an effective field goal percentage of 105.9, which takes into account the added value of three-pointers. Curry now has 556 career games with at least 10 shot attempts; that was his highest effective field goal percentage in any one of them.

Curry is now the only player this season with 35 points entering the fourth quarter while playing fewer than 25 minutes, and one of only two players since 2000 to score at least 38 points in 27-or-fewer minutes. His 10 three-pointers that night gave him nine career games with at least 10 treys, the most in NBA history.

The Week Ahead:

Only one team in the league has played fewer road games than the Warriors so far this season, but that's all about to change very soon. After a home-heavy December, the schedule balances out almost immediately, as Golden State will play nine of their 14 January games on the road. The first three of those road contests take place in the week ahead, as the Dubs open up a three-game road trip in Dallas later tonight. The Warriors will then make the short jaunt over to Houston to take on the Rockets in the second night of a back-to-back on Thursday, before rounding out the trip in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Saturday. That's three Western Conference opponents, two of the hottest teams in the league and at least one title contender on the slate in the week ahead, making for a challenging start to 2018 for the Dubs.

Till next week.

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