A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

The Warriors and breaking the glass ceiling

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The Warriors all time season continues as at 44-4, a 34-5 finish will be enough to set the all time wins mark. They passed recent tests of the Spurs and Cavaliers with flying colours.

How the Warriors are raising the bar may be tied to their era. Even for the most talented teams in the past a ceiling is put on them by diminishing returns. The best example is the Miami Heat who’s top 3 of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh boasted historical talent. However together they were less than the sum of their seasons before teaming up. Sharing the ball led to less dominant offensive stats by Wade and Bosh although they made up for it with strong defensive play. Later Lebron teamed up with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and the same effect occurred particularly on Love’s numbers. Another example is how in Oklahoma City the best statistical stretches of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s careers came when the other was sidelined with injury in Durant’s 2013-2014 MVP season and Westbrook’s 2014-2015.

If the Warriors had equal talent but in the traditional high scoring talents of those teams, they likely wouldn’t be challenging the Bulls record. The inability for everyone to reach their highest impact when playing together compared to apart would be biting in their ceiling. What makes the Warriors able to beat this is making an impact without needing the ball. Draymond Green leads the way by having arguable top 10 impact in the league while taking less than 11 shots per game. His defense, floor spacing and passing can coexist with the high volume scoring of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and the shot-creating first game of Harrison Barnes. Andre Iguodala takes less than 6 shots per game but by hitting 3s, passing and playing defense makes his mark. Andrew Bogut’s per minute defensive impact is regarded as one of the best in the league and is a strong passer. The RPM of both Iguodala and Bogut is top 10 at their position despite the lack of shots. Green’s RPM is top 5 of any player in the league. As impressive as Curry and Thompson’s offensive numbers are, their offensive impact is even larger when taking into account the spacing pressure they put on the defense when they don’t have the ball.

The Warriors managed to have an all time great team not by having more talent than anyone before team, including teams like the recent Heat, Celtics, Thunder. It’s by having strong talent where nearly everyone’s impact is maximized and complimented by each other instead of diminished by sharing the ball.

Written by jr.

February 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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