Golden State Warriors too dependent on shooting variation

January 19, 2023

With their explosive backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors have entirely changed the game, and their perimeter shooting has ushered in a new age of basketball during the past ten years.


However, despite the Warriors’ stellar three-point shooting for years, much more than their effort from beyond the arc contributed to their four championships in eight seasons.


Over the past three games, Warriors have averaged 49 three-point attempts, and over the past 10, they have averaged 47.3, which is exceptionally high even for them. Only the Milwaukee Bucks compare in the ten-game span at 46.3 per game, with the Boston Celtics in third place at 40.6 and about seven attempts below Golden State.


There are simple explanations for this; you grab what the defense gives you, and the Warriors and Bucks currently receive most of the league’s uncontested three-point shots. With the claim that Golden State are compromising for many three-points tries, there must be some amount of tiredness that is contributing to the current pace.


Given that we are in the middle of the season, the Warriors are severely undermanned, and players like Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins have only recently returned from injuries, it makes it reasonable that there would be some tiredness.


Last year, Golden State scored 39.4 three-point attempts per game, but in the postseason, that figure fell to 37.3. Given the shooting ability of Curry, Thompson, and Jordan Poole, more tries may be suitable. Still, eventually, you expose yourself even more to the unavoidable shooting volatility, whether from game to game or quarter to quarter. The Warriors only shoot 35.5% from beyond the arc in the last ten games, which ranks them 17th in the league.


The Warriors will be hoping that the shooting variance for visiting opponents decreases from what it has been in the first half of the season. The most noticeable factor in Golden State’s 5-17 record is that they allow opponents to shoot three-pointers on the road, the second-worst in the NBA.


The defending NBA champions will be hoping that the slump starts with a repeat of the Finals in Boston on Thursday before traveling to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on Saturday night in a back-to-back.

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