The Golden State Warriors have not looked very much like the Golden State Warriors as of late — but all of that could change very soon.
Since January, the team has felt out of sorts. Whether it be a slumping Stephen Curry, inconsistent Klay Thompson or injuries to Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, the Dubs have been missing their identity.
The Golden State Warriors have been struggling and these two keys will be crucial to them getting back on track and finding their groove.
Two core pieces of this team have been missing: 3-point shooting and defense.
In the shooting department, Curry has continued to have the least-efficient season of his career, making 37.7% of his 3-point attempts. As always, this is above league-average but below his career standard of 42.8%.
All of this would be fine if it wasn’t for the other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, shooting just 36.2%. Klay’s previous worst shooting season was in 2012-13 when he shot 40.1 percent from deep.
The Splash Brothers have lacked the bite that made them so dangerous in years past. Klay has a reasonable excuse, given he hasn’t played basketball consistently in over two years. As for Curry, everyone has bad shooting nights, right?
No one should worry about Curry and Thompson finding their stroke. More concerning is Andrew Wiggins, who has shot just 39.8 percent from the field since the All-Star break.
Overall, Golden State has been outside of the top-10 for 3-point shooting each month since December. They ranked 8th in November and 5th in October.
Defense is where things have been bad. I mean, really bad.
The Dubs led the league in Defensive Rating for the first half of the season. In February, the plummeted to 16th. Thus far in March, Golden State ranks 26th with five games played.
Losing Draymond is the obvious reason for their decline on defense but only so much can be accredited to this injury. The Warriors have routinely let their foot off the gas and it’s cost them in games they led big, such as their 20+ point collapse to Dallas.
Green is eyeing March 14 for a return to the floor. Ideally, he will elevate their defense and provide the firey competitiveness needed to keep them engaged. Then, on offense, he knows how to free up open shots for the Splash Brothers better than anybody.
In order for the Warriors to get their groove back, they need to go back to their roots. Until they start playing 3-and-D basketball again, you can count them out of being contenders.