Golden State Warriors: Are the areas of weakness a true concern?

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Golden State Warriors are one of the best teams in basketball. But there are a few areas that should give them cause for concern

Behind the LeBron vs. MJ debate and that damn bat that keeps terrorizing the AT&T Center (I’m convinced it’s just one bat and he hates Spurs basketball), the Golden State Warriors are probably one of the most polarizing topics in the NBA today.

As evidence of this, when you saw their name in this headline, you either tugged at the Kevin Durant jersey that you had surgically attached to your body, or you threw the cup you were holding so hard that it dented the wall you threw it at.

Regardless of your opinion of them, it’s fairly safe to say that the Warriors’ talent doesn’t leave their team too many weak points. However, a little bit of a deeper dive into the box score shows some areas that they should be concerned about. And almost all of these were highlighted in their recent loss to the Phoenix Suns.

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First and foremost is their defense. The Warriors are dead center in the league for defensive rating with 109.3, not a great position to be in when five of the teams above you are in the Western Conference, and three of them are in the playoff race. Of the five teams behind the Warriors (#16-#20), all five are Western Conference teams, and three are in the playoff race.

The only playoff team not in the top 20 in defense, the Houston Rockets, who rank 23rd, the third lowest of any Western Conference team.

Adding to this, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry are the only Warriors players in the top 50 for defensive win shares, and Durant and Curry just barely make that list coming in at 46 and 47 respectively. The Warriors, with all of their superstars, also only have one player in the top 50 for defensive rating, and it’s Andre Iguodala.

This whole defensive problem ties into the next area of concern that the Warriors have, their roster. As of now, the Warriors have arguably the best roster in the league. However, this summer we could see Durant and Cousins go, as well as Thompson.

Next summer, we could have Iguodala, Green, and Shaun Livingston all leave. Plus, with Iguodala’s age and the rumors that Green and Kerr don’t seem to see eye to eye, it’s possible that those two could be leaving sooner than next summer. Letting even a few of these guys go without getting the similar caliber replacements could leave the Warriors with a depleted roster in the next few seasons.

The Warriors have also been struggling in the second halves of games, when they too often let the big lead they built up in the first half disappear. This is even more troubling when you remember that the Warriors have just a 55% win percentage in close games, 10th overall in the league. These late game struggles become even worse if the Warriors start to really fall off.

Often times, Golden State is its own worst enemy, and the Warriors tend to take riskier shots if they start going on a cold stretch. This kind of voluntary self implosion is a perfect example of something that the Warriors need to fix going into the postseason.

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While there are some areas of concern still, almost nobody is going to be betting against the Warriors this year. Golden State is also known for having these kind of late season struggles, but they’ve always found a way to turn up the intensity in the postseason. It’ll be interesting to see if they can do it again this year.