Golden State Warriors: Early Observations from 2021-22 NBA Season

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Following five straight NBA Finals appearances, the Golden State Warriors missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. During that stretch, they’ve managed to produce just 54 wins.

Golden State Warriors: Early Observations from 2021-22 NBA Season

To be objective, it is worth noting that Klay Thompson has been working his way back from multiple injuries. And his teammate, Stephen Curry, missed a good portion of the 2019-20 season with a wrist injury before bouncing back to average 32 points per contest in 63 appearances for the Warriors last season.

Although Thompson has yet to return to the rotation, the Warriors are rolling along just fine. In fact, with a 127-113 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, the Warriors improved to 9-1 on the season. This is tied for the top record in the Western Conference.

So without further ado, here’s a look at a few early observations from the Warriors this season.

Early Observation #3: Jordan Poole a diamond in the rough

The Warriors took Jordan Poole with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. During his rookie campaign, Poole averaged 8.8 points per contest. And despite playing three fewer minutes per outing last season, he increased his average to 12 points per contest.

The third-year shooting guard’s stock continues to trend upward. He reached double-digits in seven of the Warriors’ first nine games of the season. But his best performance to date took place in the win over the Charlotte Hornets. In that contest, Poole’s stat line included 31 points, three rebounds, and four steals.

He shot 11-for-21 from the field while knocking down seven of his 16 attempts from beyond the arc. And the four steals he recorded in that contest nearly equaled the total number of steals he recorded during October (seven). What makes this performance even more impressive is that it occurred on a night in which Curry had an off night (15 points on 6-for-15 shooting and 3-for-11 from three).

On the season, Poole has posted career-bests in points (18.2) rebounds (2.7), and assists (3.5). Let’s also not forget that he’s averaging 1.4 steals per contest as well.

Not too shabby for a late first-round pick, right? And we should not be surprised if head coach Steve Kerr continues to give him minutes when Thompson returns to the rotation.

Early Observation #2: Golden State Warriors are getting the job done at both ends of the floor

Since this team has always been about the offense, we will start at that end of the spectrum first. The Warriors have the best scoring average in the league, scoring 115.2 points per contest. They are also ranked fifth in offensive efficiency at 111.9 points per 100 possessions.

The Warriors are shooting 47.2 percent from the field – good enough for the third-highest conversion rate in the association. And they are the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league, knocking down 38 percent of their attempts. Furthermore, the Warriors lead the league in assists, dishing out 30.3 per contest.

As impressive as the Warriors have been from an offensive standpoint, they’re also holding their own from a defensive standpoint as well. For example, they are allowing 101.5 points per contest. This is the third-best mark in the NBA.

Additionally, the Warriors are the top defensive team, yielding 98.6 points per 100 possessions. After giving up 100 points in four of their first five games, the Warriors have held their opponents under the century mark in three of their last five contests.

But wait. The story gets even better.

The Warriors are limiting their opponents to 42.1 percent shooting — the third-lowest mark in the NBA. They are also allowing a three-point conversion rate of just 30.6 percent. Given these numbers, it’s no wonder why the Dubs are sitting atop the Western Conference with a 9-1 record.

Early Observation #1: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green holding down the fort

Curry is one of the best (if not the best) shooters the league has ever seen. I will go even further by saying that he is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses thanks to his ability to score from almost anywhere on the court.

Following a season in which he averaged over 30 points for the second time in his storied career, Chef Curry is at it again. He’s averaging 27.6 points per contest (on 42.9 percent shooting) along with 6.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists per contest. Curry is also shooting an efficient 38.6 percent from the three-point line.

Not only that but he leads the Warriors in steals with 1.6 per outing. And if you think that Curry isn’t capable of putting up big numbers on a given night, well, he put that notion to rest as well in the team’s recent win against the Atlanta Hawks.

In that contest, Curry finished with a stat line of 50 points (on 14-for-28 from the field) to go along with seven rebounds and 10 assists. He also connected on nine of his 19 attempts from beyond the arc. It is also worth mentioning that he amassed this ridiculous stat line in just 35 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, the do-it-all forward and defensive specialist that goes by the name of Draymond Green has been a factor in the team’s success as well. Sure, he’s averaging just 7.9 points per outing, but scoring has never been a high part of his game. However, Green is averaging 8.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest.

He leads the team in both of these categories. And while he’s averaging a shade under one block per contest (0.9), he leads the team in this metric as well.

In addition to what we’ve discussed thus far, the Warriors will be even more dangerous when Thompson returns to the mix. And if he’s able to rediscover his form, this squad will be primed for a deep postseason run.

In other words: The Golden State Warriors are back!

 

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