OAKLAND -- There is no overt giddiness or crazed rhetoric around the Warriors these days, though there could be.
They're winning, but they're mostly trying to stay as quiet as possible -- quiet smiles, hard work and, including Wednesday's 115-94 win over the Clippers, a growing list of victories.
Quiet excitement and quiet determination to keep this going and going. Relatively quietly.
"We like the feeling that's going around our locker room and practice and games," guard Stephen Curry said Wednesday morning, hours before the Warriors whipped the Clippers.
"I'm pretty sure that a lot of guys on this team haven't won consistently over their careers; so to have this feeling, to be in this position where we are right now, we want to hold onto it."
So yes, suddenly this season the Warriors are winners, acting like winners, pointed toward the playoffs, and saying that they know exactly how this happened.
That's the big point: It's pretty clear that the Warriors planned this out months ago, and that things have lined up almost exactly the way they expected and hoped.
There are sure to be bumpy moments ahead on this long NBA journey, but right now, the Warriors are off to their best two-month start in decades.
Let's list the top five reasons this happened:
1. Curry and David Lee, the team's best two players, are true leaders playing at career peaks.
Is it coincidence that this happened after
Almost certainly not.
A lot of emotional and strategic baggage was off-loaded with Ellis. Lee and Curry were the main beneficiaries -- and they strengthened their position by surviving the wreckage of last season with attitude and games intact.
"The way that they handled adversity laid a foundation for what's taking place today," coach Mark Jackson said.
"Leaders were born. David Lee and Steph Curry became the voices of this organization. And it's great to see what is taking place."
Curry has remained healthy, forcing opponent defenses to game plan to stop his lethal outside shot, and has developed a subtle court generalship that gets all other Warriors involved.
Lee, meanwhile, is leading the rebounding surge, shooting at an incredible clip (57.5 percent in December), and playing efficiently on both sides after many seasons of defensive indifference.
And the best two players are hugely complementary, one of the best pick-and-roll tandems in the league.
"We have a nice flow," Curry said of the Lee cohesion. "Once I was able to get back on the court in practice and training camp, everything kind of jelled."
2. Co-owner Joe Lacob's new front office, led by general manager Bob Myers, made a series of excellent offseason moves, highlighted by the acquisitions of tough-minded veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.
Point guard Jack and power forward Landry back up Curry and Lee, which takes pressure off the Warriors' best players and also gives Jackson the option of using all four playmakers together to close games.
And win games.
3. For the first time in years, the Warriors are playing real defense and are one of the best rebounding teams in the league.
Unbelievable that this has happened even with Bogut out indefinitely, but it's all true.
And nothing builds team chemistry like defense and rebounding.
Going into Wednesday's game, the Warriors were holding opponents to 42.9 percent shooting -- fourth-best in the league.
Part of the explanation: Jackson changed his scheme in order to pack the lane and try to wall off all penetration; they give up outside shots, but if the shots don't fall, the Warriors usually win.
Also, the strategy makes sure to keep Lee and most of the Warriors around the basket -- and control the defensive glass.
The Warriors are grabbing 4.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents -- last year they got 6.6 fewer.
That's almost 11 more possessions a game, and that's gigantic.
4. Five products from the Warriors' past two draft classes are all contributing: Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli from the last draft, and Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins from June 2011.
That has made the Warriors two- or three-deep at every position.
5. Jackson doesn't want to hear it, but he's clearly a better coach this season than he was last.
"You know, to me, in this league, whether I was a player, a fan, an announcer, or a coach, you get talent, you become a better coach," Jackson said.
He's calmer, and he's clearly connecting with every player on this team; it's natural progress for someone in only his second full season as a coach on any level.
And it's phenomenal overall progress for this franchise, which has made enormous strides in just a few months, just like it planned for decades but finally figured out this season.
Contact Tim Kawakami at email@example.com.