After playing eight games in eight different cities following their season opener, the Golden State Warriors will now look forward to some normality with a six-game home-stand starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
Even despite Wednesday’s close loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors have made a strong and impressive start to the season. They currently hold a 5-2 road record, a far cry from the struggles of last season and the catalyst for a 6-3 record overall.
The Golden State Warriors have plenty of room for improvement that could begin to materialize on their upcoming home-stand.
Golden State have room to grow all over the place from an individual perspective, most notably through Andrew Wiggins who’s currently averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 rebounds on 40% shooting from the floor and 15% from three-point range.
Wiggins is part of a starting lineup that’s struggling as a unit to start the season, having been the best in the league in 2022-23. The Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson-Wiggins-Draymond Green-Kevon Looney five-man combination is -19.3 in net rating across 67 minutes together — they were +21.9 in 331 minutes together last season.
Golden State’s improved depth has been a big part of their early success, with veteran point-guard Chris Paul leading a solid second-unit. That’s led head coach Steve Kerr to play significant periods with a full bench squad, usually including Paul, Gary Payton II, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and Dario Saric.
That’s the second-most used five-man combination this season behind the starting lineup. For many of the positives surrounding the bench, that unit is still a -7.3 in net rating across 52 minutes together.
It’s legitimately astonishing that the Warriors have moved to 6-3 while Kerr’s two most utilized lineups are getting significantly outplayed. The starting unit can’t create stops with a defensive rating of 132.1, while the bench, even with Paul running the show, can’t find enough buckets with an offensive rating of just 103.7.
That has to provide major optimism in the idea that the Warriors can significantly improve. They’ve already re-emerged as one of the top teams in the Western Conference while possessing major issues they’ll need to address. The consistency of a six-game home-stand could be the tonic to make that happen.