The Golden State Warriors are the only team in the NBA with one loss.
While they’ve been great offensively, it’s been their league-best defense that’s carried them to their 9-1 record. Their defense has consistently been terrific, but following the intermission in the game, they take their play to the next level.
The Golden State Warriors’ third-quarter defense has been so insanely good this year that the numbers behind their success are borderline unbelievable.
In games against the Hornets, Hawks, Pelicans and many more, large differentials in the third quarter have propelled blowouts for the Warriors. Well, it’s been their defense mainly to attribute this success to.
Led by former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, the Warriors have an 81.1 third-quarter defensive rating. Yes, you read that correctly. The next best team isn’t even within seven points of that. It’s Denver at 88.4.
The Warriors’ normal defensive rating, the only team with one under 100, could be historic as well.
While we do need to see these sustained for an entire season, there’s no reason to think the Warriors can’t keep it up. Green and then the much-improved Gary Payton II have fueled this dominance for their respective units.
Another thing to highlight about the Warriors’ third quarters is that, while they defend, they also have the best third-quarter defensive rebounding rate. That’s incredibly important for keeping an opponent from consistently scoring.
This Warriors roster is not the best at forcing turnovers, but they consistently contest and rebound, two aspects potentially even more important. The Dubs rank 10th in opponent’s turnover percentage, so not great compared to the two noted before.
Green is the superstar of the defense, but it’s been two-time MVP Stephen Curry and rising star Jordan Poole that has stepped their game up as well. Without a competent backcourt, it’s nearly impossible to sustain this type of success.
Golden State has been terrific on the defensive end of the court, but they’ll be challenged in the near future when the Chicago Bulls, arguably the best team they’ve faced so far this season, come to town.
With games against the Nets, Bucks, Sixers, and Jazz still in the future, the Warriors defense will be put to the test, but from what we’ve seen so far this season, it shouldn’t be anything they can’t handle.