Warriors beat Jazz, continue winning ways vs teams above .500
The Dubs continue to handle business against good teams despite injury woes and Steph Curry's inconsistent shot.
Stephen Curry is shooting 37% from beyond the arc this season, the worst of his career if you throw out his injury shortened 2019-2020 campaign. Not surprisingly, that brings down his overall FG% to 41%, also the worst of his career if you throw out 2020.
His fellow Splash Bro Klay Thompson has only played six games this season while recovering from ACL and Achilles injuries. In his limited return he’s shooting 30% from beyond the arc, far and away the worst mark of his career. His field goal percentage is 37%, which is ice cold by his career standards.
Draymond Green, the team’s best defender who leads the team in rebounds and assists, has missed 13 of the team’s 47 games this season.
These are the Core 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty, the trio that revolutionized the league and did the heavy lifting on the team’s five straight Finals appearances. They eat up a massive portion of the salary cap and demand a heavy share of the team’s resources. The general wear and tear they’ve accrued over the years has stolen cohesion from them; they’re nowhere near their best as a unit right now.
And yet the Golden State Warriors have the second best record in basketball and have a winning record against winning teams. Their ability to rise to the occasion was on display again last night when they knocked off the Utah Jazz in Chase Center 94-92 in a game that appeared to be trending toward a blowout before Utah clawed back in the final minutes.
Did you know there are only five teams in the NBA with a winning record against teams above .500?
Golden State: 16-10
I took a look at the other nine teams that make up the top ten in the league and checked how the Warriors did against them:
2-1 vs Phoenix
1-2 vs Memphis
1-0 vs Miami
2-0 vs Utah
1-0 vs Brooklyn
2-0 vs Chicago
0-1 vs Milwaukee
2-0 vs Cleveland
1-1 vs Philadelphia
For as much as folks have harped on Curry’s shooting woes and whether or not the team’s offense is too predictable, one thing that keeps getting forgotten is that one of the major byproducts of Coach Steve Kerr’s pass-heavy system is that when everyone feels involved they play better defense.
The Warriors allow the fewest points per game in the NBA. They also have the best defensive rating in the game and lead the league in steals. So basically if Curry has a rough night the game will be close in the fourth quarter. If he’s being his normal self? The game will probably be over by the end of the third. That’s how good this defense is, despite their Big 3 not playing together this season.