General shorthandedness from a pulled hamstring, a traumatic free agent defection, and an even more traumatic moped spill removed the poor Warriors from playoff contention pretty much before the season started.
But since the end of January, the roster has been represented at full power. Monta's recovered from that Vespa episode, Jamal Crawford has completed his sore hamstring nursing, and new guys Corey Maggette and Ronny Turiaf have been filling in all along with mixed results. We're just now really seeing the squad Don Nelson built to go at this season with. They're not about to challenge the Lakers and Celtics, but the Warriors are good enough that The Bleacher Report has declared them "the best of the NBA's bad teams." Sweet distinction, guys!
We've seen these fully loaded Warriors together now for five games, and Chris Paul and LeBron can tell you the Golden State starting five does not constitute a creampuff on one's NBA schedule. The Dubs got beat good on the road by both Dallas and Houston, but they've managed a 2-3 record over a sensationally difficult five-game stretch.
Friday's win over a quality Hornets team left knowledgeable people remarking that it was Golden State's best game of the season. The Clippers win was a delightful farce. And terrific team defense in Monta's first game back against the Cavaliers didn't manage to beat LeBron... but they did manage to make him worry for a second.
The return to full strength comes at the right time, as nine of the Warriors' next ten games come against Western Conference playoff contenders. But they look like they're beginning to gel, and it will be interesting to see how good the best of the worst can be.