It’s been a frustrating season for the Golden State Warriors. The team has failed to go on any prolonged winning streaks and has been inconsistent from the season’s first game.
Stephen Curry has kept the Dubs afloat all season. Without him, Golden State would likely be a bottom-five team. Curry is second in the NBA in scoring at 29.9 points per game and is shooting a tidy 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
But he isn’t getting a ton of spacing from the teammates that are on the floor with him. Analytics site bball-index.com shared this stat that shows where Curry ranks among his fellow NBA superstars when it comes to spacing percentile, which is the number of floor spacers on the court with Steph during non-garbage time minutes.
Lineup Spacing percentiles, looking at spacing provided by players around these studs in non-garbage time:— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) April 11, 2021
Head coach Steve Kerr has used a variety of rotations to close out games all season. One consistent is the presence of Draymond Green, who is shooting 25.6 percent from deep, the second-worst percentage of his career. Kelly Oubre Jr. is at 31.7 percent, while Andrew Wiggins is shooting a career-high 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Having Klay Thompson in the lineup would have altered everything. He’s one of the best shooters in NBA history, and opposing teams wouldn’t have been able to play Curry so tight if Thompson was healthy.
No one knows what to expect from Klay next year after missing two consecutive seasons with injuries, so general manager Bob Myers will need to make adding shooting a priority during the offseason.
The Dubs have struggled without Curry on the floor. Golden State is 10.7 points better per 100 possessions when Steph is on the court compared to when he is on the bench. Myers will need to acquire another playmaker and find some shooters who can help space the floor next season.
In Kerr’s system, spacing is imperative. Too often, players like Oubre and Wiggins are crowding the ball when Steph has it in his hands. Opposing defenses are double-teaming Curry frequently, but the Dubs haven’t been able to take advantage.
Curry has been remarkably efficient with a lot less talent around him than what we saw during Golden State’s historic five-year run. With Curry, Thompson and Green, the Warriors have the foundational pieces in place to try and get back into title contention.
But the depth behind the trio remains an issue. Curry is still playing at an extremely high level. Myers can’t waste another year with middling bench pieces which don’t give Steph the space he needs to succeed.