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 have some major issues on defense

Let’s finish by talking about the Warriors’ defense, which is the biggest issue with this team. The Warriors are currently giving up 116.7 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 18th in the NBA. This number is a little below average, but there are significant issues with the Warriors’ defense that make it hard to believe they can survive long in the playoffs.

For starters, the Warriors are extremely weak in terms of protecting the rim. They allow opponents to shoot 71.9% from 0-3 feet, which is the fifth-worst mark in the entire league. They also have the third-worst block rate in the league with a mark of 4.1%. This is a big problem because rim protection is extremely valuable and it will be hard for the Warriors to have a high ceiling if they can’t protect the basket.

On top of this, the Warriors’s defense looks extremely underwhelming when you analyze how they fare against different play types. Here is how efficient their defense is vs. a few specific sets.

- Isolation: 0.94 PPP (55th percentile)
- Pick and Roll Ball Handler: 0.91 PPP (52nd percentile)
- Pick and Roll Roll Man: 1.14 PPP (45th percentile)

That is really concerning. If the Warriors have to face a team like the Clippers in a playoff series, they are probably losing in quick fashion because that defensive profile doesn’t work in the postseason and the Clippers are great in isolation and the pick and roll. 

Overall, the Warriors have a lot of issues on defense and these problems will likely limit how far they go this season.