The Golden State Warriors have gradually risen back up the Western Conference standings following a terrible 1-5 road trip. With just 4.5 games separating them from the first-place Denver Nuggets, they are currently vying with the Phoenix Suns for the 8th seed in the West.
The Warriors’ eight-game homestand, which they are currently 5-0 in, helped them ascend in the standings. The club needed to play at the Chase Center to recover, as they now have the best home record in league with a 17-2 record.
It’s still puzzling why the Warriors’ home record is so drastically different from their 3-16 league-worst road record. One significant distinction is their defense, which ranks second in the NBA with a 106.2 defensive rating when playing at the Chase Center. Their defensive rating increased to 120.1 on the road, the second-worst in the NBA.
Although the Chase Center crowd’s enthusiasm may have contributed to the Warriors’ increase in intensity on that front, a source provided a more thorough analysis of the Warriors’ defensive home/road splits in his most recent article.
Warriors rival only make 29% of their 3-point tries at Chase Center, which is the lowest percentage in the league. At home, the other team’s opponents make at least 32% of their 3-point attempts. On the highway, that pattern virtually changes. Only the San Antonio Spurs make more 3-pointers than Golden State opponents (41% in their arenas).
Given that the Warriors average more than 36 3-point attempts per game, that’s a difference of about 13 points per game solely attributable to the opponent’s ability to make shots from beyond the arc (some of that difference can be made up in additional offensive rebound opportunities on the extra misses, but not much) (minus-10.1).
Different opponents shoot different kinds of 3-pointers against the Warriors. In away games, more 3-point attempts are of the higher-percentage catch-and-shoot sort (72% come off zero dribbles, compared with 69% at home), according to Second Spectrum tracking on NBA Advanced Stats. Additionally, according to Second Spectrum data, Golden State contests a higher proportion of 3s at home (91%) than on the road (89%).
The Warriors still have three games left at home. They then have another lengthy five-game road trip, giving them a chance to demonstrate whether or not their road woes are finally behind them.