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 Warriors are an offensive machine

Stephen Curry isn’t the only bright spot for the Warriors’ offense. As a team, they do a lot of things at a very high level, starting with shooting threes.

They are currently averaging just under 40 three-pointers per game and they hit threes at a 37.9% clip. They rank top ten in both stats, making them one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league.

They also are a great passing team and this makes a lot of sense when you look at how their offense operates, which we’ll get to later on. The Warriors currently have an assist rate of 28.8% and a turnover rate of 14.4%. That turnover rate is a bit high, but the assist rate is top five. This is understandable because their offense relies a lot on sets that require their players to read the floor well and make good passes.

Here are a few play types where the Warriors excel. Beside each play type is how many points the Warriors generate per possession on those sets.

- Isolation: 1.04 PPP (86th percentile)
- Hand Offs: 1.06 PPP (97th percentile)
- Off Screens: 1.10 PPP (86th percentile)

The Warriors are very efficient in isolation, which makes sense considering how good Stephen Curry is at operating one-on-one. However, the bulk of their offense comes on handoffs and off-ball screens. In fact, they lead the entire league in terms of the frequency in which they run plays off screens with a mark of 9.7%. No other team even reaches 8%.

On film, they are very creative offensively. Since they don’t have many great ball handlers, they don’t force their players to operate in isolation a lot. Instead, they use a lot of pick and rolls, pin-down screens, and back screens to generate open dunks, layups, and three-pointers.

Unfortunately, the Warriors have a lot of weaknesses on offense that could hurt them in the playoffs, if they make it. For starters, they don’t have a lot of players who can create their own shot at a high level. Stephen Curry is really their only player who can do this and this could be a challenge in the postseason if they face a team that plays good off-ball defense and forces them into more isolation sets than they are comfortable running.

Also, they are just average in terms of efficiency on pick and rolls, which is unfortunate because this set is such an efficient source of offense if it’s run effectively. If the Warriors want to make it far in the playoffs, they need Chris Paul and Brandin Podziemski to step up as creators off the dribble and they need Klay Thompson to be consistent as a shooter off-the-catch.