It doesn’t take a basketball savant to see that the Golden State Warriors are really, really good at passing. In the four years that Steve Kerr has been head coach, the team has led the league in assists four times, and it’s never been particularly close.
Part of this is due to having great shooters who can capitalize on the receiving end of assists. But most of it is due to having a team full of strong passers, shooters who stretch the defense and open up the interior for easy looks, and a scheme that prioritizes ball movement over everything else.
But Golden State’s ability to pass goes beyond highlights and basic assists per game numbers. Check out these amazing graphics from Ben Taylor, one of the great minds behind Nylon Calculus.
Last week I called Golden State "probably the best passing team ever" as they lapped the league. Thanks to some of the new awesome upgrades at https://t.co/ttAroRVBfD by @bballport we can quickly see what an outlier looks like, passing to get layups.— Ben Taylor (@ElGee35) July 24, 2018
The Warriors aren’t just better than the competition when it comes to passing - they’re the outlier. That’s stunning.
A huge part of that success comes from Draymond Green, who is not only one of the best passing big men in NBA history, but has steadily improved that area of his game. Check out his passing growth over the years:
Draymond passer rating profile: All-time level passing big. Good as a college senior (5.1), then jumped forward in 2016 as offense expanded. Peak of 8.8 is 21st all-time. pic.twitter.com/gYLRieMuMM— Ben Taylor (@ElGee35) July 24, 2018
So there you have it. That the Warriors are an elite passing team isn’t exactly news, but seeing it displayed like this is pretty outstanding.