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The Warriors Midseason Report Card

Before the Warriors kick off the second half with a big game versus San Antonio, let's talk about how the team performed in the first half.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 All-Star game in the books, the Golden State Warriors can look forward to three more days of much-needed rest. Here at Golden State of Mind, however, there is still plenty of work to do. Today, we take a look at the first 51-games of this season and ask: how did the Dubs do offensively and defensively, and what does the future hold?

Offense

This past offseason, most optimistic projections for the Warriors depended heavily on the offense's ability to play up to its potential. Ranked 12th a year ago in offensive efficiency (107.5 points per 100 possessions) and 10th in points per game (104.3), the Warriors certainly had room to improve.

Enter Steve Kerr and the triangle-influenced motion offense. By keeping the ball moving from player to player to create spacing, the Warriors quickly weaned themselves off of iso-ball in favor of a San Antonio-style approach. The results have been spectacular.

The Warriors lead the NBA in field goal percentage as well as 2-point field goal percentage, largely due to two improvements. First, the team is finding easy buckets in the half court, as Dubs' scorers have scored over 52% of the time without needing a dribble per nba.com -- in other words, players are getting clean catch and shoot opportunities or well-timed cuts to the basket. Additionally, the Warriors lead the league in transition points per game, up a whopping six points from last season to 21.2 per game. Despite carrying the ‘jump-shooting team' moniker, the team has done a great job of finding easy jump shots for its fantastic shooters, as well as a healthy serving of points in the paint. See Arno's post on Thursday for much more on this.

At the break, the Warriors now rank 1st in scoring (110.6 points per game) and 4th in efficiency (111.5 points per 100 possessions). However, uneven bench production, a lack of a post-game (29th in points per post up) and a poor free throw rate knocks the grade down a notch. The Warriors can and have won with those flaws, but they're not perfect yet.

Offense Grade: A-

Defense

When Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson headline your roster, it's kind of crazy to think that this is a defensive team. And yet here we are. Not only are the Warriors an elite defensive team: they are the league's dominant defense! Golden State is 1st in defensive rating at 100.5 points per 100 possessions, and they're practically good at everything.

In addition to leading the league in field goal percentage defense, they're also top-5 in the league at preventing assists, steals, blocks, 3-point percentage defense and opponent's free throw rate. There's just no secret to beating these guys. You have to overpower one of the most complete defensive rosters the league has seen in years.

The rapid development of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, as well as stalwarts Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala, potentially gives the Warriors three all-NBA defensive players in their first six rotation players. And Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes have been solid, too. Add in rangy length guys like Shaun Livingston and Justin Holiday, and it becomes clear that this team is good and deep. And the lack of an established back up center is at least partially offset by the team's impressive average height. It's hard to justify anything less than a perfect score.

Grade: A+

Future Outlook

Despite sporting a historically great margin of victory, the Warriors also have the league's easiest schedule by winning percentage to this point. That may not be entirely fair, as travel schedules and dumb luck also play a role, but there's no denying that the road gets tougher for here. And that's a problem, because when we last saw the Warriors, they were scuffling through the 76ers, Knicks and Timberwolves.

It's easy to expect some regression given the team's play as of late, but try to keep in mind just how long this team was dominant. With the team finally healthy with just 31 games to go, even conservative estimates have the Warriors on pace for a 60-win season. And that's worthy of an A-for-Awesome.

Overall Grade: A

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