Golden State Warriors: The Most Dangerous Team in the Playoffs


Mar 02, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) celebrates with guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With one game left in the regular season, we now have a good idea of the 2012-2013 Warriors team identity. Their strong offense keeps them alive in every game, while their defense still leaves a lot to be desired. They have a strong starting five with solid support coming from their bench. This Warriors team has all the makings of dangerous playoff team.

An offensive juggernaut, the Warriors can attack teams with a barrage of threes, courtesy of the Super Splash Bros., and by letting David Lee go to work down low in the paint. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been lighting it up from the 3-point line, as evidenced by Curry being on the cusp of shattering Ray Allen’s record of most threes made in a season. Curry just needs two more 3s to break it, but what’s make this season extra special is how much more efficient number 30 has been. He’s been shooting 45.5% from three-point range, which is higher than Ray Allen’s career high of 45.3% when he was in Boston and only used as a spot-up shooter. Curry has been doing this while shooting off the dribble and as a primary ball-handler.

Compared to last year, the Warriors have really improved their defense. During the 2011-2012 season, they were ranked 28th in points allowed per game. This year, they’re ranked 19th, which may not seem great, but when you consider the fact that they just leapfrogged a third of the league, it’s a pretty great improvement. If they could just step it up in that in the playoffs, the Warriors will become a nightmare for their Western Conference opponents.

The bench has been a valuable asset to the Dubs as Jarrett Jack spearheads the attack with teammate Carl Landry. Both were gifted to us when they left the Hornets and have played an integral role for the Warriors. They often provide a spark and can score while playing solid defense as well. They’re usually assisted by the strong defense of Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli, and occasionally, Richard Jefferson. One can argue that the defense provided by the bench can, at times, be better than that of the starters. Either way they play as a cohesive unit and they keep the momentum going.

Mark Jackson should be the front-runner for Coach of the Year. He took a team that was the sixth-worst in the NBA least season and turned it into a playoff squad. No other candidate can claim that besides the Nets, who had fired Avery Johnson mid-season. He improved the defense and embraced the up-tempo offense that has been in place in the Bay Area for years now. He’s also found excellent rotations, substitutes based on situations, and knows how to keep his players happy. Good coaching not only gets you into the playoffs, but also helps you go far in them as well. Luckily, the Dubs got a good one.