The Golden State Warriors are red-hot but their ceiling isn't as high as many believe

The Golden State Warriors have been on a roll recently, but how good is this team and how far can they go?

Charlotte Hornets v Golden State Warriors
Charlotte Hornets v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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The Golden State Warriors have played better of late, but how high is their ceiling this season?

The Golden State Warriors have been on fire recently, winning 11 of their last 16 games. During this streak, they’ve had some impressive performances. This includes a 22-point victory against the Pacers, two double-digit wins over the Philadelphia 76ers, and a narrow loss to the LA Clippers.

Their advanced metrics look pretty good as they rank 11th in Basketball Reference’s SRS metric, which is essentially an opponent-adjusted average margin of victory. This indicates that the Warriors are better than their 29-27 record, which makes them the 9th seed in the Western Conference.

This season has been a rollercoaster for the Warriors but now they appear to be back on track which is great because the playoffs are not far away. Let’s take a look and see why the Warriors are better than their record and whether or not they make a deep run in the playoffs.

Stephen Curry is still devastatingly good

The biggest reason why the Warriors have had any kind of success this year is because their offense has been really good. They currently rank top ten in offensive rating as they score 118.4 points per 100 possessions and they do a lot of good things on that end of the floor.

The engine of their efficient offense is, unsurprisingly, Stephen Curry, who is having a wildly productive season as a scorer. This season, the 34-year-old point guard is averaging around 28 points and five assists per game on 63.1% true shooting while also shooting 41.4% from three on a ridiculous 11 attempts per game.

He is such an important part of this team’s success because he is one of the few players who can handle a large offensive load and operate as a primary ball handler. He’s been pretty good in this role, averaging 1.15 points per possession in Isolation and as a pick-and-roll ball handler which is well above average in both categories.

His brilliance as an offensive player is insane for his age. Despite being 34 years old, he’s still moving off the ball all the time and hitting ridiculous shots off the dribble. He also hits long-distance bombs at a ridiculous rate, which is normal for him, but not for most human beings.

While Curry has been great as a scorer and shooter, it’s hard to deny that he has taken a small step back as a passer and defender. His assist rate of 24.4% is the lowest it’s been since 2018 and the Warriors’ defense is around seven points better per 100 possessions when Steph is off the court compared to when he is on the court.

I think this is a big reason why his plus-minus metrics are the lowest they’ve been in a long time. While he’s still a great player, he isn’t the dominant MVP-caliber player we are so used to seeing.