The Warriors play on the road has been decent, winning 24 games during the season, and they have been strong enough to hold their own. But when playing against the best on the league, they have been not fared well in the win column, away from the home court in the Oracle Arena.
Obviously, playing in the West is a whole new world, and they won 51 games. Which alone in itself is a compliment, to any one team. In the much weaker, East they would have been top 3 likely with 55+ wins. Instead, for them, they came into the NBA playoffs a 6th seed, as a team that has players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both of whom are top notch deep ball terrors in the league. Curry dropping 24 a game and Klay, 18.
And then with David Lee knocking down 52% from the floor, and let’s not forget about the underrated Andre Iguodala who can drop economical points on anyone, when getting the opportunity. When Iguodala gets 10 or more shots in a game, the Warriors are 8-3. Making them, that much more of a difficult matchup for teams to deal with.
One large flaw I have with them, is at home they have to improve, they actually are not a dominant home team. They are good, but not great. To win you have to own and completely master your home court, and make teams cry before you punish them on your home floor. In 2012 when the Miami Heat won the title, they were 28-5 at home. The Lakers were 34-7 in 2010.
Over the last 5 seasons, the eventual NBA champions have 164 wins in their home arena, with an amazing 83% win pct. You simply cannot “just win” at home.
The Warriors are loaded with young athletic young stars on the team. They can score in bunches, and the team puts up big time numbers on a nightly basis, with a 10th ranked 104 a game. They also have a very beefed-up rebounding squad, with David Lee and when healthy, the 7 footer, Andrew Bogut, hitting the boards well.
They move the ball around very well, helping to make them a high scoring team, Stephen Curry make teams play them on the deep ball, and they have the ability to shoot well against any other team in the NBA. Curry can do whatever he wants on the offensive side of the ball, making opponents cringe when he starts to find his rhythm.
The playoffs, overall, have not been kind to Golden State, having never won a title even though making the playoffs numerous times. Having had some excellent teams, in the early to mid 90s, with Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond, they still never got to the big series. They never got the chance to play in the big game, or even a Conference championship, in an era that was mostly owned at the time by the Bulls and Rockets.
For the Warriors to get to the next level in the nasty Western Conference, they have to get passed the Spurs first and foremost. Which is not easy. Even though aging, they just keep moving along, and the next king in line, seems to be the Thunder. Playing in the Pacific division, they have to make sure they beat the Clippers at least 3 of the times they matchup with them.
Build a base around Curry and Thompson and make teams pay, when they settle to shoot the lights out against you.
Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com