There is the schedule and there is the team.
Hoping that Mullin will pull off some improbable trade where the Ws lose all of their big contracts and get a Hall of Fame power foreward in return?
Not a chance, unfortunately, but there is indeed a realistic chance of great success in the last half of the season.
First, Nelson is substituting much better. More players are in their proper roles now and that alone will pay off.
The second reason for optimism is that the Ws have four valuable players who have not been able to contribute much because of injury. Four useful players are a lot more than any trade would ever provide.
Richardson is an all-star quality player. His return to full strength will be huge.
Ike is not the saviour, but he is going to be a very good situational player who will do very well in many situations and can do things that aren't being done now. Clearly, a healthy and attuned Ike will also be huge.
Murphy's broken nose has been more of a bother than most of use think. When that is healed and his legs are fresh, he will be a better player.
Also, Ike's return will allow Nelson to use Murphy in a more specialized role, rather than as a 40 minute wanna-be power foreward. He will be very valuable in that new role. Maybe a Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside scenario that will maximize the skills of both Ike and Murphy.
Zarko is not going to the HOF anytime soon, but he hustles and can do some things.
Also, these four players are also bodies. Four more bodies to spell others, to practice against, to fill garbage time minutes, to allow the fast game to operate full time, every time. Might prevent an injury or two.
Getting these players healthy is realistic and will have a greater effect than any likely trade would ever have.
We have seen the competition and it would seem that a full-strength Warrior team likely could make the playoffs, especially if the schedule is indeed more favorable later in the season.
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