OAKLAND -- As much as the Warriors surely appreciated the timing of the All-Star break, it was no less a respite for their agitated followers, for whom a quiet week and a few moments of reflection should do wonders.
That vexing five-game losing streak notwithstanding, a few days away ought to give everyone a few moments to remember what this team faced when camp broke in October.
The Warriors and their fans were cringing and twitching and hoping, figuring any hope of sneaking into the playoffs depended on the delicate ankles of point guard Stephen Curry and center Andrew Bogut, each of whom was coming off surgery.
The front office was conceding that the trade of productive guard Monta Ellis for Bogut last winter might be just another futile Warriors move if the big man couldn't stay on the floor.
And the coaches considered inserting small forward Brandon Rush in the starting lineup before realizing his two-way energy off the bench was essential.
October was when a .500 season was the definition of progress and 45 wins would represent rousing success.
When you consider all that has happened since the Halloween Night season opener in Phoenix, it's downright impressive the Warriors are on pace to win 47 and clinging to the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
So when Mark Jackson starts sermonizing about the accomplishments of his team thus far, the coach is not expressing the blind optimism. The preacher is surveying the landscape and reaching the logical conclusion.
There is no reason, none whatsoever, not even after five straight losses, to panic.
"Do not let anyone fool you into thinking we should be walking around with our heads down," Jackson said as the team entered the break. "There are teams in the Western Conference that would do anything to be sitting where we're sitting."
If Jackson's attitude doesn't convey enough go-for-the-jugular ruthlessness for your taste, you're either denying the wretched recent history or you have talked yourself into believing it's irrelevant. No matter which, reality is distorted.
This is the seventh time in 31 seasons that the Warriors (30-22) have entered the All-Star break with a winning record. This is the third time since winning a franchise-high 59 games in the 1975-76 season that they have been eight over .500 after 52 games.
Six games up on the Lakers and seven better than perennial contender Dallas, this is completely unfamiliar, through not entirely uncharted territory for the Warriors.
And they're here despite Bogut's delicate ankle forcing him out of all but 10 games, forcing rookie Festus Ezeli to learn on the fly. Here despite Rush sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the season. Here despite Curry twice rolling his ankle, both times requiring some bench time.
How are the Warriors eight over .500 when Klay Thompson, their designated sharpshooter, is firing at a lower percentage than anyone else averaging at least 15 points a game?
No matter how you look at it, the Warriors are ahead of all reasonable projections. Many, including myself, gave them scant chance of playing into May. They were dismissed by most of the experts in major publications; ESPN The Magazine gave them zero percent chance of reaching the playoffs and had them finishing behind Sacramento and New Orleans.
And yet, that five-game slide has touched off considerable unrest within the fan base. The blogs and airwaves are heavy with fans begging for a trade or questioning the playing rotation or wondering if Bogut is somehow at fault.
Jackson sees it from a different point of view.
"We've given ourselves an opportunity to (withstand) a five-game losing streak because of what we've done in the first half," he said.
That they've done it mostly without Bogut is to their credit.
And they should get better as the 7-foot Aussie rounds into shape and the team absorbs his game, which is well-rounded enough to be very absorbent.
Bogut will bring a couple things the Warriors needed even when they were playing at a 52-win pace: size that allows them to compete against bigger teams and a toughness that is required to have a chance to win pivotal games in March and April.
General manager Bob Myers says he's open to a trade but not compelled to make one. Asked if during the preseason he would have been happy with 30 wins at the break, he said he would be. He should be.
When the Warriors take the court Tuesday in Utah, it will be the first of the final 30 games that will dictate whether they belong in the playoffs. They do. Any failure to do so must be followed by honest and sober and painful self-evaluation.
Meanwhile, it's OK to breathe in the development. Understand this team should get better. Step off the ledge and remember all those years, entire seasons, when win No. 30 never came.