Breaking through

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Raffy Ledesma

Raffy Ledesma

Since the start of the Splash

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Brothers era (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson), the Golden State Warriors have been making waves around the league. The team reached the playoffs in the past two seasons after five years of futility and also recorded a 51-31 record last season—only the fourth time in over 40 years that the Warriors recorded more than 50 wins. It is no surprise that the Warriors faithful have high expectations that Golden State can actually contend for an NBA title this season, a title last won in 1975.

This season, the Warriors are off to a 16-2 start which is the best start in franchise history. They are also owners of an 11-game winning streak. One more win would surpass the team record for the longest winning streak, which was set in the 1971-72 season.

The man behind the recent resurgence of the Warriors is Curry whose numbers are quite impressive. He is averaging 24 points, nearly 8 assists, and over 5 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field, 41% beyond the arc, and 92% from the line. Clearly, MVP numbers. His “brother” Thompson is also posting great numbers including a dead-on 45% shooting from beyond the arc.

From a team standpoint, you would think that the Golden State Warriors are beating opponents simply by outscoring them but the stats are showing a well-balanced and potent team. Yes, the Warriors are the league’s No. 3 offensive team but not just because they put up points, it’s also because they are the No. 1 team in assists which means that they have excellent ball movement. It also indicates that everyone touches the ball, making them hard to guard defensively.

Moreover, they have turned into an elite defensive team ranking 7th in the league in points allowed (96.5 points). Their defense is anchored on center Andrew Bogut who is an excellent rim protector. Their new starters Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes are quite versatile and do-it-all on both ends of the floor. It must be noted that the young core Warriors group have been together for the past few seasons and have shared many experiences together, birth pains included.

Rookie Coach Steve Kerr has also been a positive influence on this young team. Reports have it that he is instilling much discipline while managing to keep it light in the locker room. Players have been responsive to him as he shares his experiences that have led to 5 NBA titles and the moniker “best shooter in the NBA” ever. It also helps that Kerr played under two of the best coaches of all time (Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich).

Make no mistake, the Warriors are poised to take over the competitive Western Conference and I wouldn’t be surprised if they register their first ever 60-win season in franchise history and a deep run in the playoffs.

raffyrledesma@yahoo.com

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