Excluding the actual bottom-feeders, every team pretty has their own fair share of ups and downs throughout the season. An NBA calendar is long, so it’s a given.
This year, though, no team has exemplified it more than the Golden State Warriors, who have showcased a really, really solid average run thus far.
The Dubs are coming off a commanding 114-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs this past Wednesday, which improved their record to 13-12. They controlled the game in the second half by going +23 on points shooting 12-for-26 from downtown over the last two quarters. It was a good response as they were on the second night of their back-to-back meetings with the Spurs, and on the heels of a frustrating loss.
It’s a good victory, but considering a couple of recently revealed trends, we should probably be inclined to think that since the Warriors just went off, they may underwhelm the next time they take the floor.
Check out this interesting nugget by Warriors beat writer and The Athletic correspondent Anthony Slater. Note that it came prior to Wednesday’s win:
Whether you’re a Warriors fan or not, those figures are equal parts fascinating and frustrating. Here’s a couple of more to drive Slater’s point home further:
- The Warriors are scoring 113.9 points and allowing 112.9.
- On offense, they are right around the league average in field goals made, field goal shooting, and free throw shooting. The same goes on defense as they are middle-of-the-pack in threes allowed, opponent three-point shooting, and blocks taken.
- In their eight wins that are coming off a loss, they are averaging 125.6 PPG.
- In their seven losses that are coming off a win, they are only averaging 104.2 PPG. If we take out Sunday’s defeat where they scored 132 points, it’s only at 99.6 PPG.
Why are the Dubs playing like this?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that it’s because Stephen Curry is playing ‘hero ball’ – not that he’s at fault, of course. He’s basically a one-man team now simply because he has to, and it creates better opportunities for his teammates.
Curry is putting up 29.6 points and splashing 4.8 threes per contest this season, which actually at an impressive 37.4 points and a whopping 6.4 threes on 57.5% shooting (50% from three) over his last five.
The next three scorers are scoring below 18 per game – Andrew Wiggins is at 17.5 PPG, Kelly Oubre is at 13.2 PPG and only shoots 29.2% from three and 39.7% overall, and James Wiseman at 12.2 PPG, who, by the way, is an 19-year-old rookie that’s currently nursing a wrist injury.
That last point is also factoring into the whole equation. The Warriors are quite thin in interior presence, and Wiseman’s ailment just makes that glaring hole larger than it already is. Along with ranking a lowly 28th in offensive rebounding, they also allow the most second-chance boards in the league. Such numbers aren’t as talked about as others, but it’s significant as it takes away a handful of possessions.
Curry and company still have plenty of time to fix this things, but make no mistake about it: 25 games can also be a good sample size to gauge a team.
The Warriors will meet the Orlando Magic next. They’ll meet in Oakland tomorrow, Friday, at 11:00 am, Manila time.