Tracking Golden State's home vs road defensive concerns
They're a juggernaut at home, but terrible on the road so far!
There we go, another double-digit home victory for the Golden State Warriors after they vanquished the New York Knicks 111-101. The Warriors are arguably the most dominant home team in the NBA today, sporting a shiny 7-1 record in Chase Center. That’s why it’s all the more puzzling that this team can’t buy a win on the road (whatever happened to checkbook wins?), losing all eight of their away games so far.
Here’s what Coach Steve Kerr had to say on that topic after the game:
“I’m actually much more interested in why we’re not playing well on the road than why were are playing well at home,” Kerr said. “I expect to play well at home. We’ve got a good record here over the years and good players, great fans. No reason we shouldn’t control our home court. But we got to start putting it together on the road, too.”
“To me, the road record is directly connected to the defense,” Kerr said.
Hmmm defense you say, Coach? I checked out some interesting stats. At home the Warriors have a defensive rating of 105.6, a resolute stinginess which only trails the Milwaukee Bucks.
But on the road, that DRTG balloons to 120.8, a number so terrible that only the San Antonio Spurs are worse in this category. The Warriors give up 16.5 second chance points per road contest, ranking 26th out of 30, meaning that they’re having major difficulty completing defensive possessions with rebounding. They’re also 26th ranked in allowing opposing points off turnovers at 22.0 per game.
Those two stats correspond with getting out hustled on the glass, and careless turnovers giving up easy scoring opportunities for the other team. The Dubs would have to go nuclear on offense to overcome those self-inflicted mistakes, and we’ve seen that even Steph Curry going for 50 may not be enough in those instances.
And in case you’re wondering, GSW had the #4 ranked road defense last season with a 109.7 defensive rating. It’s still early, but that’ll be a trend to look out for as the season progresses.