2. Defensive field-goal percentage
The Warriors biggest concern heading into the season appeared to be their lack of size, and the defensive and rebounding issues that may emanate as a result. It’s a small sample size sure, but fans could have hardly asked for anymore on that end of the floor.
Golden State currently ranks third in defensive field-goal percentage, with opposition teams currently shooting 41.7% against them. They rank seventh in defensive rating overall, having ranked 14th in the same category last season.
It’s even more impressive when you factor in their best defender, Draymond Green, missed the opening two games and was on a 20-22 minute restriction in the back-to-back against Houston and New Orleans.
With a lack of true shot-blocking presence, perhaps outside rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis who had four in less than 20 minutes on Monday, the Warriors will need to rely on their versatility to maintain a top 10 defense.
No one signifies that more than Green who, despite his disrupted preparation, kept Pelicans star Zion Williamson to 7-15 shooting and 2-5 in the second-half as Golden State outscored New Orleans 71-45.
But Green’s frontcourt partner, Kevon Looney, also deserves recognition for his defensive exploits over the first four games. The 27-year-old saw a decline in his interior defensive numbers last season, something that was a key area for improvement. Opponents are currently shooting 46.2% from within six feet with Looney as the primary defender, down from 60.1% last season. Few would expect those numbers to continue, but it’s worth a shoutout nonetheless.