Turnovers have become the biggest weakness for the Golden State Warriors.
For a team that is second in offensive rating and defensive rating in the league, this team should be virtually unstoppable. Unbeatable right? Wrong.
If there is one major flaw and Achilles’ Heel that the Golden State Warriors have it’s turnovers.
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Turnovers have hurt Golden State in close games and cost them the game against the Cavaliers on Christmas and it gave the Raptors life in a game when they trailed by 25 after the first quarter.
Turnovers are important because they are empty possessions that give the opponent a chance to score and get back in the game or increase their lead. This is a category that the Warriors have struggled with all season long.
According to stats.nba.com, the Warriors average 15.2 turnovers per game for the season. Also, in wins, they average 14.5 turnovers per game, which is not great, but it is better than the 19.2 they average in losses. In each month of the season, the Warriors have averaged about 15 turnovers or a little bit over 15 per game.
In their last game against Toronto at home, Golden State committed 20 turnovers, whereas they committed 12 turnovers in Toronto. In the Warriors’ Christmas Day showdown with the Cavs, they also committed 20 turnovers, but they lost.
Now, 20 turnovers for the most deadly offensive team in the league should not have been a problem in Cleveland because of the firepower they have, right?
No, it’s a problem. The problem is the time the turnovers were committed. In a Finals rematch, the Warriors were leading 108-105 and Andre Iguodala, one of the Warriors’ “swiss-army knives” stole the ball from Kyrie Irving and threw a half-hearted pass to Kevin Durant, which was eventually stolen back by Irving with 44.9 seconds left in the game. These kinds of turnovers are unacceptable in wanting to become a championship team, especially in crunch time. If Iguodala threw a better, stronger pass to Durant, it would have resulted in a dunk, foul, or an and-1.
Turnovers can be a back-breaker in close situations and that’s what cost them in Cleveland, but not at home against Toronto. It’s when you commit the turnovers that become the most critical.
Some turnovers can be considered “good” or “decent” turnovers if you have the right idea, but the execution of the play results in a turnover or overpassing, which can lead to a turnover, something that Steve Kerr does not like when the Warriors overpass for a “wide-open shot” to a “really wide open shot.” Also, some of the turnovers the Warriors have had in the past few games are because of indecisiveness of whether to pass or shoot or “being too unselfish.”
One of the culprits is point guard Stephen Curry, who sometimes has a habit of sometimes overpassing, when he should look for his shot, after all, he is the best shooter in the world and the Warriors will not win a championship if Curry is not making quick decisions about passing and shooting.
I’ll save that “Curry being aggressive makes or breaks Golden State’s chances for a title” for another article. For now, the best thing the Warriors can do is to not overpass and if the play is not there, do not throw the pass because it will lead to turnovers. Once the Warriors clean up the turnovers, the Warriors’ engine will be in full throttle and no team will want to face them.