The Golden State Warriors came up short against the Clippers last night in a tough game 7 but that does not mean this crew of resilient players failed to meet expectations. In fact, the Warriors exceeded expectations in many ways.
Improvement of the Splash Brothers
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson came into the season as the most dynamic shooting duo in the league. Curry and Thompson upped their play this season by raising their averages and leading the team in the process.
Curry averaged 22.9 points and 6.9 assists in the 2012-2013 season. This year, Curry took a step forward by averaging 24.0 points(7th in NBA) and 8.5 assists(5th) in the regular season.
Thompson averaged 16.6 points in the 2012-2013 season. This year, Thompson put up 18.4 points, while slightly increasing his field goal(44.4%) and three-point percentages(41.7%)from last year.
The Splash Brothers made 484 three-pointers combined in the regular season, which was more than any other duo in the NBA. The success of the Warriors depends heavily on the offensive production of Curry and Thompson and the numbers point out the strong campaigns that these two shooting stars had this season.
Resiliency and Defense
Golden State finished with a record of 51-31 record in the regular season. They had a lot of stuff going on that could of distracted them such as firing coaches and being plagued by the injuries of big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee. However, the Warriors found a way to make it to the playoffs and force a game 7 against a star-studded Clippers squad.
Another big reason why the Warriors were able to enjoy a wild ride in the playoffs is their newfound affinity for defensive pressure. This team was not known for its defense in the years prior to this season. Head coach Mark Jackson clearly attempted to put a stop to all of the lazy defense. The Warriors were in the top 10 in the league in opponent points per game(99.5), opponent field goal percentage(43.6%), blocks(4.6) and steals(7.0) during the regular season. Thanks to a strong defensive unit in the regular season, the Warriors were able to carry over their defensive prowess into the postseason.
The bench for the Warriors struggled mightily for the duration of the regular season. Suddenly, the bench came alive in the playoffs and gave the team,as well as the city of Oakland a reason to believe the Warriors could upset the Clippers. Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Jordan Crawford are three of the younger players on the bench but they sure didn’t act like it in the postseason. The young guys off of the bench provided major sparks for the team and showed promise for the Warriors franchise in the future. Golden State should definitely keep young guns like Green, Barnes and Crawford around because they have proven their worth, especially in crucial contests such as the exciting Warriors vs. Clippers matchup.
Bravo Golden State
Listen, the Warriors may have come up short of advancing to the second round but they were a force to be reckoned with this year. They made the postseason in a tough Western Conference playoff race. Additionally, Golden State has a young and talented group of players that have taken the franchise to new heights. Job well done by the Warriors. They will definitely contend for a title in the near future if they keep such a strong nucleus.
Related Article: http://isportsweb.com/2014/05/03/golden-state-warriors-dirty/
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