Raptors and Warriors, and the difficulty of staying on top

Iguodala still out, but Curry is cleared to play

As the Golden State Warriors await the return of Klay Thompson, the timing of today’s game against the team that he last played against couldn’t be better. Golden State is ascending. They’ve got the best record in the league, best net rating, best defense, and the 3rd ranked offense.

Oh, and this guy is getting real close to returning.

The Raptors, meanwhile, seem more and more like a one-shot champion. They’ve been irrelevant since Kawhi Leonard departed, and are a game below .500 and sitting in 12th place in the Eastern Conference right now.


GAME DETAILS

WHO: Golden State Warriors (14-2) vs. Toronto Raptors (8-9)

WHEN: Sunday November 21, 2021 // 5:30pm

WATCH: NBCSBA


Strength. Forget the numbers.

The Warriors have won without their top players, something that has been a bit elusive for the team every time Stephen Curry sits out. Strength in Numbers is a perfectly fine motto, but it only really makes sense when the bench talent is deep enough to mean something.

Here’s a cool image I found. This graphic is showing how much of a team's offense is associated with each player, as well as the scoring efficiency of that player.

Curry is clearly the main driver here. His lethal combination of elite efficiency while also shouldering a heavy load is hugely important- as anyone who has ever played against this team can attest.

But look at the rest of that Warriors list. Jordan Poole, despite his early shakiness, is right around average. As the team works towards the return of Klay Thompson, Poole's role may not change all that much. Especially once the defenses tighten up in the half court in the playoffs, Poole's ability to create opportunities off the dribble will still have a place here.

Prediction

Feels like another win, and I have never been wrong before.