While they may have won two of their past three games, the Golden State Warriors still find themselves in an early hole with an 8-9 record. Their issues are multi-faceted -- some can be easily fixed, others are a product of the current roster.
Sometimes the game is just simply about putting the ball in the hoop though, and for a team that revolutionized the game with their ability to do it from beyond the arc, the Warriors have largely struggled to do that early this season.
The Golden State Warriors' improved shooting over recent games provides optimism that they can turn things around after starting with an 8-9 record.
Aside from superstar Stephen Curry who continues to shoot the ball at an absurd level, Golden State struggled to connect from three-point range through the first dozen or so games. Some of that is shot selection and the looks they've been getting, some of it is simply a rough stretch that coincided with the start of the season.
The Warriors have generated the fifth-most 'open' three-point looks in the league this season, yet are shooting just 30.5% on these attempts. That's third-last only in front of the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, two teams that average less than 12 open threes per game.
At some point there has to a regression back towards the mean -- Golden State shot 37.6% on open three-pointers last season. No one's labelling Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul or Jonathan Kuminga as three-point snipers, but they're better than the <20% shooters they've been for large parts of this season to date.
The positive is that the Warriors appear back on track over recent games -- across the last four outings they've made 68 of their 162 (42%) three-point attempts. That includes 19-45 (45.2%) shooting from beyond the arc against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, range they needed to find to off-set an abysmal 24 turnovers.
After historically bad shooting to start the season, Wiggins and Paul have begun to find their confidence. The former has made 50% of his triples over the last four games, while the veteran point-guard has made 56% of his over the last six outings.
Golden State's three-point shooting numbers are obviously highly dependant on Klay Thompson too, with the 33-year-old still a career-low 37% from beyond the arc this season. However, there's been signs of life from the five-time All-Star, having notched two recent 20+ point games amid 44.7% three-point shooting over his last four games.
The Warriors will be hoping this upwards trajectory continues, allowing their offense to enter the top 10 in the league (currently 12th). With Draymond Green set to return to organize an often-shaky defense, there's reason to believe the franchise can turn its fortunes around.