Warriors will need to improve on four key stats next season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The dust has settled and we are now in the dog days of the offseason.
While the Warriors still have one roster spot and their midlevel taxpayer exception available, it doesn’t look like there are any more imminent moves waiting to be made. As of now, it seems like the Warriors have the group of guys they will enter training camp with.
Because of that, it’s getting easier to sketch out what the Warriors will look like next season. On paper, this year’s team is a good one. They have a balanced roster of young players and veteran talent, they did a good job of replacing the production they lost, and made some coaching hires that should have a positive impact. But how well did they do at addressing areas that hurt them last year?
Let’s look at four stats the Warriors need improve next year and how their offseason moves may have addressed them:
You don’t have to look too deep at the stat sheet to recognize that the Warriors struggled with rebounding last season. And as we move into this season, it’s an area that needs to be remedied.
Golden State ranked 22nd in rebounds last year (43 per game), and was tied with the Miami Heat for last place in offensive rebounding (eight per game).
Being a good rebounding team isn’t a championship-defining skill set to have, but it gives a team an obvious advantage. The Warriors finished second to last in second-chance points while giving up the fourth-most second-chance points.
James Wiseman and Kevon Looney are the only true centers on the roster, and the Warriors didn’t add anyone through the draft or free agency to help them out. It has already been established that Wiseman’s main role with the team must be crashing the boards. But after having his rookie season cut short, it’s a lot to ask for him to come in and be immediately dominant in that area. And if either Wiseman or Looney miss any significant time during the season, the Warriors will struggle in this area even more.
Another troublesome stat that’s glaring is the number of fouls the Warriors committed.
The Warriors were 28th in the league with 21.2 fouls per game. The Orlando Magic led the league with 17.2 fouls per game. You might ask what the big deal is because the margin isn’t that big. However, when you’re in the bonus, the three or four foul margin leads to six to eight more free throws, and that is a big deal. Potentially game-changing.
Golden State has to figure out how to retain the same aggressiveness and tenacity it had last season, while also cutting down the fouls. The tricky thing about this is that there are no players you can bring in that will automatically address this issue.
Sure, adding a veteran player with a high IQ such as Andre Iguodala helps, but it won’t solve the entire problem. That’s because it has to do with self-discipline, and each player must do his part.
Out of all the players in the NBA, Wiseman committed the 16th-most fouls. No player you bring in will fix that except for Wiseman.
The Warriors’ defensive numbers were good last season — but they were a bit deceiving. And this area — particularly their rim protection — is an area they could stand to improve on.
Golden State had the third-best defensive field goal percentage within six feet of the hoop, but they also allowed the sixth-highest field goal percentage in the paint, non-restricted area. It seems a little contradictory, but either way, the Warriors need to have a better presence inside.
Unfortunately, this is another area the Warriors didn’t address with the flux of new players they brought in. Draymond Green, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Nemanja Bjelica will have to chip in, but, for the Warriors to take any noticeable strides here, they will again be depending on improvement from Wiseman to help the team.
One area Wiseman will not be counted on to address is the Warriors ability to make more open shots. The Warriors were 20th in the league in wide-open field goal percentage — 16th in wide-open 3-point percentage.
Steph Curry shot incredibly well when he was wide open, but him being wide-open doesn’t happen a lot. So, who is getting these looks? Well, last season Kent Bazemore was the second-best at wide-opened shooting, knocking down 46 percent of those shots. Kelly Oubre Jr. also did well in this area.
Those players are gone. So who did they add? In Otto Porter Jr. and Bjelica, the Warriors got two guys who are really good at wide-open shooting. However, these two players won’t’ get the Warriors over the hump.
Instead, the Warriors will be waiting on the return of Klay Thompson to have any true improvement in wide-open shooting and floor spacing areas. Thompson is said to be making his return around the holiday season, but it’s still up in the air. And until then, the Warriors will have to figure out another way to get more shots.
Source: Yahoo Sports