NBA: Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors

The Week that Was:

Another 3-0 week, this time all home games. A dominating start-to-finish win, a second half closeout against Sacramento and a surprisingly close game against a Boston team that has regularly played the Warriors tough in recent years.

Oh yeah, and Klay Thompson did something.

The Soapbox: The Double

I have been making this point regularly on my appearances on Ted Ramey’s KNBR 1050 show (Thursdays at 2:25!) but the Warriors are staring something insanely impressive in the face.

While we have celebrated their defensive prowess throughout the season, Golden State has a meaningful shot at accomplishing a truly remarkable feat: having the best D in the league while also playing at the fastest pace. While intuitively possible since Defensive Efficiency (the best measure of team defense in my opinion) scales for possessions, teams in the current NBA just do not come close to this. Since the 2008-09 season, the fastest pace of any season’s top defense belongs to last year’s Indiana Pacers squad. That distinct offensive non-juggernaut averaged 94.9 possessions per game, good for 21st in the league.

At present, the Warriors have a 2 possession lead in Pace and a 2 point per 100 possession lead in Defensive Efficiency. That is just crazy.

Unsurprisingly, the best explanation for that success comes from their continued dominance in opponent shooting. Holding their foes to the worst percentage in the league (with Portland in second, shockingly) helps offset the still too high but improving turnovers and giving up a substantial amount of offensive rebounds though a healthy Bogut should change that.

Beyond all the other history this team could make, keep an eye on this double because it would truly be something special.

The Week to Come:

Another strange set of games given the structure of the week. The Warriors close out a successful home stand with the Bulls in a game that sadly appears unlikely to feature a return game for Mike Dunleavy.

From there, the Dubs pull the weird home / road / home back-to-back, traveling to Utah for a single game and then returning to Oracle to face a Suns team that will have also played the night before.

One Response

  1. lloyd choi

    Golden state can probably beat any team in the western conference with what this type of offense/defense mentioned in the article, with one exception. Yeah, San Antonio with a healthy Kwahi Leonard would shut down curry