OAKLAND -- After watching the Warriors' offense fall on its face against Sacramento, it's hard not to wonder about how they will score in the playoffs.
Certainly, when the jumpers are falling, Golden State looks like quite the juggernaut. But when they're not, which happened in a big way in Wednesday's loss to the Kings, the Warriors are in trouble. If they can shoot themselves out of a win at home against one of the worst teams in basketball, it's not hard to figure out what could happen in the postseason.
The harsh reality, though, is the Warriors won't fully understand what it takes until they get into the playoffs.
"There are so many different things about the playoffs you have to go through in order to understand," swingman Richard Jefferson said. "We have a young team. We're a playoff team. There's no doubt about it. It's just about learning and growing. Any criticism about our team is probably warranted because we have the talent and we should be winning. But this is not a one-season thing."
Golden State's offense is centered on outside shooting. Guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are two of the best shooters in the game. David Lee has a nice midrange jumper for a power forward, and reserve guard Jarrett Jack has added consistent 3-point shooting to his mastery of the pull-up jumper.
But outside shooting, in addition to being difficult the farther out you go, has a lot of variables: fatigue, pressure, momentum, emotion. All of that will come into play in the postseason when intensity and importance increases.
No question the Warriors can get in a shooting groove. The question is what happens when they're not? Getting to the free-throw line is not a specialty of theirs (16th in the NBA in attempts). They don't have a consistent low-post option against good defenses. And their transition game is contingent upon getting stops.
Even when the Warriors do have it going inside, their proclivity for jumpers gets in the way of that for stretches.
Wednesday, the Warriors' usual inside guys -- Lee, Harrison Barnes, Carl Landry, Andrew Bogut -- were a combined for 27 of 41 (65.8 percent). But those four players took fewer shots than Curry, Thompson and Jack, who went 12 of 44.
Coach Mark Jackson even sticks with the jump shooters when they're cold, often leaving his higher-percentage options on the bench.
But the answer is not for the outside shooters to work for higher-percentage shots. That's a process that will have to happen over time. It took LeBron James losing in the postseason to develop his post game.
"We can score against anybody," Jefferson said. "There is no doubt about that. We have so many weapons, and we pass the ball. For us, it's our defense. We can't let a bad shooting quarter affect us mentally on defense.
"You have a lot of respect for guys like Jason Kidd, who can impact the game without ever making a shot. ... I think as we go a long, as we mature, I think that is more of what happens."