Why Stephen A.Smith Thinks Warriors Can Still Go on Playoff Run


Much of the NBA world has discounted the troublesome Warriors already, but ESPN‘s Stephen A. Smith is keeping the faith in the storied franchise.

The Dubs have had a rollercoaster of a season and have just a 41-34 record to show for it.

The team are desperately clinging onto tenth spot in the West to remain in the postseason conversation.

Smith was recently asked on First Take if he thinks the Warriors can still go on a run despite their struggles.

To which he answered, “I do. First of all, understand how important shooting is. You got to be able to shoot from the perimeter. You got to be able to make free throws come playoff time because obviously, the game doesn’t speed up, it relatively slows down to some degree. You can get to the free-throw line and there aren’t a lot of teams as efficient as the Golden State Warriors — so I don’t think we can ignore that.”

“But they’re on a five-game winning streak. [The] first four of those games were on the road. They won all four of those games. This is when noise was being made about the Houston Rockets nipping at their heels and all of a sudden they go on a winning streak. Do you know that the Warriors are leading everybody in defensive efficiency over that period of time? And basically, four of the five opponents held to 100 points or fewer. We can’t ignore that either.”

The greatest three-point shooter to ever grace the NBA court, Steph Curry, has been struggling with his shooting numbers during the Warriors win streak.

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Smith was quick to laud his teammates for going to another level and keeping the momentum going.

“Oh by the way, the wonderful, the wondrous, the greatest shooter god ever created in Steph Curry is only averaging 20 points over this streak, but shooting 41 percent from 3-point range,” Smith continued. “Just last night, he had 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting, but he still hit 3 of his 5 shots from 3-point range. Other dudes are stepping up. And I’m looking at it from that perspective. Your ability to shoot, your ability to score is one thing. But what was the ingredient to the Golden State Warriors’ success throughout those years? Defense. They played defense.

“And that is what they are doing now. They are being effective with it. They now have a three-game cushion on the Houston Rockets. They got seven regular-season games left.”

Don’t count the Warriors out yet.

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