In this edition of Power Rankings, the Warriors remain at No. 1 and the Suns drop to new depths.
If you’re not careful, you can get lost in the hypnotic, methodical series of floaters, runners, threes, threes from 40 feet, and threes from the corner behind the basket from where you really aren’t supposed to shoot it. I learned this Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, observing courtside as Stephen Curry got loose. He is always one of the first Warriors to warm up, the precision of his footwork, the game-speed shots, and the consistency of his preparation hinting at why and how exactly he’s become the best player on the NBA’s best team. At first, you hardly notice that he’s barely ever missing.
In the actual game, Curry missed—a lot, actually, shooting 5 of 17 for 13 points, his worst shooting night and second-lowest total of the season. His teammates? They did not miss much. The other guys combined to shoot 66% on the night and buried a stupid 13 of 18 three-point attempts, and the Warriors beat the Knicks by a gentle-yet-substantial 21 points, the night after a scare in Philly. Klay Thompson was 14 of 18 with 34 points, Draymond Green was 9 of 9 with his ninth triple double of the season (note: for what it’s worth, he also air-balled a free throw).
Really, it’s the nights like these that make you think Golden State could really win 72, 73, 74… you get the picture. It’s more fun when Curry goes nuclear, but the near-perfect showings from everyone else when he’s off, and they’re tired, tell you more about their mettle. Not to overreact to just one game against the New York Knickerbockers, but I’m coming around on the notion that they’re going to do it.
Anyway, the Warriors are back atop the Power Rankings, I’m sorry for ever doubting them, and it would take some real misfortune for them to lose this spot over the next couple months. As for the rest of the league? Eh…less safe.