3 Reasons The Golden State Warriors Are A Legit Championship Contender

The NBA season is almost one-third over (27 games being near that milepost in the 82-game season). The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the league. How have they managed to climb so far in what is a very tough Western Conference?

1. Two-Way Improvements

This is a team which already had a solid defensive foundation in place thanks to what previous head coach Mark Jackson was able to do with the Warriors. Golden State allowed an average of under 100 points per game last season. The Warriors held their own on defense in the ruthless Western Conference. They were able to contain the many powerful offenses that played against them. For a team with such obvious offensive talent, Golden State’s defensive results were very impressive. Yet, this season, the Warriors have managed to improve on defense.

Golden State allows an average of just 97.6 points per game, nearly two points lower than last season’s average. When multiplied game after game after game, that’s a substantial improvement on what was already a high standard. On offense, the Warriors have developed as well. They had averaged 104.3 points per game last season, which is very good. This year, though, they’re up to 107.5 points, which is the second-best mark in the league behind only Dallas. Being able to move forward at both ends of the floor is really helping out the Warriors.

2. Draymond Green

It is true that the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, are the foremost leaders and producers on the Warriors. However, Draymond Green has really picked up the pace. In his career, Green averages 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. This season, he’s averaging 13 points and eight rebounds, with three assists as well. He’s blocked five shots in a recent game against Memphis, four a few days earlier against New Orleans. Green makes lots of contributions in many different ways. Though he was mostly a low-post player in college at Michigan State, Green has developed into an athlete who can cover a lot of court on defense and check opponents a long way from the basket. Green is such a versatile tool. He makes his presence felt in just about every aspect of the game on a weekly basis. He might not always score or shoot well, though he usually does. He might not always have a huge rebounding night, but he normally will. He doesn’t always load up on assists or blocked shots, but he will do so occasionally. Green is a handyman-type player who is filling in the gaps for Golden State.

3. Steve Kerr

The first-year coach has to get some credit for what’s happening in Oakland. He took a good thing that was given to him by Mark Jackson, and he’s clearly made it better. Kerr’s quiet leadership is something his players buy into. Kerr’s many NBA championship rings from his days as a Chicago Bull and San Antonio Spur also capture the attention of his players. Golden State leads pro basketball with a 22-3 record. That’s not something in which a coach has nothing to do with the result.