Five troubling Warriors stats you don’t want to know exist
If you enjoy happiness and basketball and waking up with a sense of purpose in the morning, leave now. Trip someone slower than you and run.
Because you don’t want to walk down this road.
This is a bad place. This is the shadow land Mufasa warned us about, where basketball #Actuallys roam and hoodlums tag asterisks on greatness. This is where we talk about Not-Good Warriors Stats.
And such statistics do exist, because the universe is an undefeated hater, and at this moment, NBA necromancers like Gregg Popovich are scouring every inch of data and tape for a soft spot in Golden State’s skull to sink an ice pick into.
So, in the the spirit of perversity, here are five things you don’t want to know about the 2015-16 Warriors. Let’s start with the obvious:
The Warriors are averaging 15.2 turnovers a game as of this writing — good for 24th out of 30 teams.
It’s a product of style, of course. The Warriors make absurd, almost rude passes on the regular. And you can’t attempt to curve the bullet 40 times a game and expect to hit each one. Even Curry-kinesis has its limits, and as we saw in January’s loss to the Nuggets, Steph’s Nightcrawler handles can fail him at the worst moment.
Which brings us to another similarly bad note:
Coming in at 6th and 7th on the league’s turnover leader board are Curry (260) and Green (254). This isn’t ideal, and the turnovers the Warriors so often overcome begin to feel more and more like a case of the other shoe that’s yet to drop when you consider the company this figure puts them in.
Only one other confirmed playoff team has a duo that’s combined for more than 500 turnovers this year, and that’s the Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who’ve shoveled away 592 possessions. The Warriors are no OKC, and vice versa, but even with their ability to outshoot their mistakes thus far, it feels like Golden State is beginning to tempt the law of averages (so, business as usual).
Bogut: 48 percent from the line. Dwight: 48.9 percent.
On the bright side, Bogut’s had to attempt only 50 (!) free throws in 69 games this season. That’s good news for Warriors fans. Or potentially horrifying in the long run.
Golden State doesn’t do offensive rebounds. The Warriors raise their arms, celebrate the three in progress, and are back at halfcourt before the ball is tacking downward.
This is how the modern NBA operates. The majority of teams have come to devalue offensive rebounds in favor of getting back in position. The Spurs popularized this get-back approach, so, in a roundabout kind of way, you owe Gregg Popovich for starting the wave that led to this one shining moment:
The Warriors have adopted the get-back defense as their religion, which — combined with their frequent turnover bakesales — has led to them averaging a concerning minus-2.2 extra possessions per game this season (down from a plus-0.2 in 2014). The only worse teams in this category are the Bulls, the 76ers and the Knicks.
This one makes the eyes water, and it’s even worse when you consider that minus-65 was accrued by Iguodala in six games. But it also drives home the point that Iggy truly is the lynch pin and/or coal mine canary of the Warriors.
When he’s good, he’s great. When he implodes, everyone else goes down with him.
And that’s that.
I’m sorry you had to go through that with me. It’s over now. Please accept this space blanket.
Just know we had to do it. We had to recognize the flaws under the Warriors’ airbrushing, and in doing so maybe we gained a better appreciation for everything they’e done in spite of these pockmarks.
Or maybe we should all just bury this deep down, act like it never happened, and part ways like strangers in the night. You didn’t see me drunkenly flip that trash can, and I didn’t see you emerge from that dark alley.
Dan is on Twitter with a bar of soap in his mouth.