The Golden State Warriors didn’t have the best first half of the season. After a good start, the team fell apart when Stephen Curry was out with injury. The uncertainty of Kevin Durant’s future led to locker room drama, and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green struggled to find their rhythm. Even when Curry returned, the team struggled to find an offensive identity, and their regular-season defense has slipped once again.
A variety of problems have caused this slump. Foremost among them is health, with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Damian Jones missing significant time. Thompson’s shot has been off for most of the season, and Green’s offense has taken a hit because of the decline of his outside shooting. The Warriors’ defense has been mediocre thus far, although there’s little evidence to believe that they won’t be able to turn it on once the playoffs begin.
But lately, the Warriors seemed to have turned a corner. The team is finally healthy, Green and Thompson are playing like All-Stars again, and Curry and Durant have consolidated their chemistry even further. The bench is hitting their threes, and the offense has come together. They’ve won six straight, and show no signs of stopping.
The Warriors now have the best offensive rating in the league by a long shot, and the second best net rating in the league, behind the Milwaukee Bucks. They’re sitting at the top of the Western Conference, and with DeMarcus Cousins’s return set for this week, they’re looking good heading into the second half of the season.
The Warriors’ offense is simply incredible right now. It’s probably the best it’s ever been: both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are playing at an MVP-level, and they’re working off each other better than ever before. Klay Thompson’s shot has begun to fall, and Draymond Green’s passing has become more quick and accurate. The supporting cast—even Andre Iguodala—is hitting their three-pointers, and role players like Kevon Looney, Jonas Jerebko, and Alfonzo McKinnie are outplaying expectations. The return of Boogie Cousins will only improve it.
The game against the Denver Nuggets was a prime example of the Warriors’ offense at perfection. Not only did they hit their shots, but the Warriors had great shot selection and limited their turnovers. When all three of the Warriors’ elite scorers are on, they’re impossible to stop.
Against the Pelicans, Stephen Curry willed the Warriors to victory with a series of long-range bombs. He’s the first the player to hit eight threes in three consecutive games and should be in the conversation for MVP.
Going into the second half of the season, the Warriors should be happy about both their position and direction. Without a contender as strong as Houston was last year, the Western Conference will likely be easier competition for the Warriors. As long as the Warriors can stay healthy, the three-peat is there for them to take.