Coach Michael Asiffo shares his take on the historic run by the Golden State Warriors and the keys to their success.
[bctt tweet=”The success of the Golden State Warriors can be attributed to these 3 keys” via=”no”]
The Golden State Warriors had a historic season of 73-9. The focus was centered on the magic of two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the more the helpful editions of Klay Thompson as well as the revelation that is Draymond Green. This is true, however, there is much more than just three guys dominating the league on display here. Everyone one of the Warriors 73 wins have come due to team effort and just plain good basketball. Here are some reasons why the Warriors are so good:
1. They Shoot and Make Threes
The Warriors shoot threes and other NBA teams try to emulate that. The NBA is a copycat league and there is the growing philosophy that you need to shoot threes. Even if you make less than half, shoot threes because three is better than two and mathematically it makes sense.
[content_box box_type=”e.g. normal, confirm, warning, info, alert” title=”Title”]For example, player A takes 10 threes and makes 4, he scored 12 points on 40% shooting: 4/10= 0.4 (40%)
Player B takes 10 shots inside the three point line and makes 5, he has scored 10 points on 50% shooting
5/10= 0.5 (50%)
Which means that with a lower percentage on the same amount of shots player A has scored more than player B. With that being said, I think a lot of believers of this philosophy lose the fact that you still need to make the threes to the tune of 40% because 45% from two is the magic number to break even with a team that shoots 30% from three. In the 2015-2016 season, every team in the NBA shot well over 45% from 2. Even the bad teams shot over 45%. In fact, only the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team to shoot under 46%, as they shot 45.4%. Also, just for fun, here is the most interesting part. 10 teams in the league shot 50% or higher. The Warriors obviously lead the league in attempts, but they were the only team that shot 40% from three. Meaning the Golden State Warriors shot a lot of threes, however, made enough threes to beat a team that shot 50% from two; if they were to go shot for shot.
2. Out of Bounds Play Execution
One thing that is not really focused on enough in mainstream basketball proper is defending out of bounds plays. Many times it is not how good or bad the defender is, but the position that person is in. Fortunately, NBA coaches and players are smart enough to defend out of bounds plays. However, the Warriors have a team that is different (obviously). Most players on the team can shoot the three, or have been shooting well from three this season. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes all shoot 38% from three or higher. Meaning that you as a coach have to instill in your team that you have to guard the three. The Warriors take advantage of this and will get a lot of easy layups on out of bounds plays, in particular the sidelines. They are ruthless in this aspect.
Coach Nic from BBall Breakdown touched on this advantage months ago:
Getting easy baskets is a staple in basketball and the warriors do that to perfection.
The Golden State Warriors lead the lead in total assists for the season at 2373, which is 273 more than the Atlanta Hawks. While I have always been a firm believer in “assists do not tell the full story” for a number of reasons I will not get into now, it is an indication that teams move the ball. Yes the golden state warriors have offensive talent on their team and yes the warriors can shoot the lights out. With that being said, that offensive talent is accentuated so much more because they pass to each other when they are in good spots. How many times does Draymond Green bring the ball up in transition to find Steph Curry or Klay Thompson trailing for an open three? How many times are Steph Curry and Draymond Green run that strong side screen roll to merciless effect? How many off ball screens lead to that player who came off that screen get the ball, who then dumps it off the roll man on the screen? If you answered a lot then congrats, you watch Golden State Warriors basketball and realize that the Warriors pass the ball.
There are a lot of things that make the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors special. However, from a coaching perspective these three things are very teachable to your team. Running out of bounds plays, passing the ball and shooting shots that you can make are essential in basketball.