On Monday night, the Golden State Warriors traveled across the country to take on the Charlotte Bobcats in a cross-conference matchup. While the Warriors and Bobcats are certainly in different states in terms of their franchise and development in the NBA landscape, the Warriors ultimately fell short to Charlotte by a score of 115-111.
Though not many people may have expected it to be so, Monday’s game was highly entertaining. Not only was there plenty of offense to go around, but late-game heroics from Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry almost swung the outcome in favor of Golden State. However, his efforts fell short, largely because the Warriors weren’t succeeding in the area that has proven to be their pulse this season.
With a team that features sharp-shooters like Curry and Klay Thompson, the three-point shot is obviously going to be a huge part of their system. That has certainly been the case with the Warriors this season with the team shooting over 39 percent from three in 11 of their 12 wins and over 36 percent in all 12 wins. Meanwhile, five of their 10 losses on the year have come when they shot under 35 percent from beyond-the-arc.
On Monday night against Charlotte, the Warriors’ inefficient three-point shooting, hitting on fewer than 30 percent of their threes, that really proved to be the difference. Sure, Curry was hitting shots late in the game which was impressive, but they wouldn’t have necessarily needed such a large comeback had they been hitting all game long.
Obviously the Warriors’ three-point shooting is somewhat dependent on the defense that they face, but what their dependency on long-range shooting really reflects is why Andre Iguodala is so important to this team. Iguodala not only improves the team’s defense, but also adds another dynamic to their offense. With the new addition still out with injury, his value becomes even more apparent. Relying on the three-ball isn’t a bad thing for Golden State, but it’s much more risky with Iguodala out.