Golden State Warriors

The November sports landscape is crowded as the NFL and college football seasons are in full swing, MLB free agency begins and The NBA and NHL seasons get started. And college hoops is starting, too.

So if you have missed the start of the Durant Era Golden State Warriors, here are five quick observations about the team after having played a baker’s dozen of games:

  1. The Warriors are in second place in the Pacific Division. The team is off to an excellent start at 11-2. However, the Los Angeles Clippers (featuring an improved bench) are a half game in front at 12-2. Not really a concern, but a good reminder that the road to the number one seed – and home court advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs – is not automatically gifted to the Goldies.
  2. Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant. Talk about consistent. After switching teams, his per 36 minute statistics are remarkably steady – despite new teammates in a different system. Durant’s shots per 36 (18.1, down from 19.3), rebounds per 36 (identical both seasons at 8.2) points per 36 (up a tick at 28.7 versus 28.3 the previous year) are close to his marks with the Thunder last year. In the small sample of 13 games his shooting percentage on two pointers (up to 62.8% from 56.9%) and threes (up to 43.1% from 38.7%) suggest he is getting better shots in Steve Kerr’s offense.
  3. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are still getting their shots.One concern with adding Durant to the team was whether there would be enough shots for Curry and Thompson. Turns out that concern was unfounded. Curry is averaging 19.7 attempts per 36 minutes, down just a tick from last season’s career high 21.3 attempts per 36. Thompsonsimilarly has dipped to 17.6 shots per 36 from 18.7 per 36 minutes. So between them Steph and Klay have sacrificed 2.7 shots to add Kevin Durant’s immense talent to the team.