The Golden State Warriors have gone from the darlings of the NBA to villains after the team’s off-season addition of superstar Kevin Durant. The Warriors already potent lineup, including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, is now in a position to be better than ever. The Warriors have a 9-2 record on the season without having any real chemistry and that’s bad news for the rest of the NBA.
Golden State is already a coach’s nightmare on offense and have already started to find a rhythm offensively. The team leads the NBA in scoring (117 points per game), assists (31 per game) and fourth in three-point percentage shooting, hitting 37 percent of their shots from downtown.
In fact, the Warriors may be on their way to becoming one of the most prolific offensive teams in NBA history. The Denver Nuggests currently hold the team scoring record when Basketball Hall of Famer Alex English and Co. averaged 126.5 points per game during the 1981-82 season. The Nuggets made just 40 three-pointers that season. The league has since shifted to offense being dominated by three-point shooting and Curry, Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green made 964 of their combined three-point attempts. Their ability to knock down threes, which help their PPG average, could put them in rarified air.
The Dubs’ offense has also shown it has three players capable of carrying the team on any night.
Durant dropped 39 points on his former team, Curry torched the Pelicans for 47 and broke the NBA three-point record in the process on just 26 shots, and Klay Thompson led Golden State to a victory Sunday scoring 30 and the trio combined for 89 points.
While the Warrior offense is rolling as expected, the defense has been a question mark. As of Nov. 18, the Warriors are the fourth-worst defensive team in points allowed (109 PPG). Green and Thompson are elite defenders, but their defensive prowess hasn’t been able to cover up the Dubs defensive inadequacies.
A recent comparison to this year’s Warriors team would be 2010-11 Miami Heat. Although the Heat played well and reached the NBA Finals before falling to the Dallas Mavericks, they also went through growing pains.
The Heat had two long losing streaks of four and five games in the first season of the “Big Three,” but also put together a nine and 12-game winning streak. The Warriors will have a similar season.
There will be many nights when the Warriors come out flat and play down to their level of competition, but there will also be nights where everything clicks, the offense flows and they put up close to 130 points like the Phoenix Suns witnessed first hand last Sunday.
Putting four All-Stars together like Golden State has and turning them into a well-oiled machine is easier said than done. It takes longer than one training camp and a handful of games to get chemistry. Each player also has to realize that they won’t be the man every night and taking 25 shots in a game might not be what’s best for the team.
When Golden State struggles this season, there will be many fans who say the Warriors aren’t that good (I’m looking at you Oklahoma City), but trust Steve Kerr is going to keep his squad on the right track. If they put it all together, look out NBA.