The Golden State Warriors sat at a mediocre 14-13 on Dec. 19 after a two-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors came into the 2013-14 NBA season with enormous expectations after an impressive postseason run from a young team last year and the addition of Andre Iguodala as a free-agent this offseason, but they hadn’t realized their potential at that point in the year.
One of the big issues that the Warriors were facing as the season wore on, partially as a result of the Iguodala injury, was the fact that their defense was slipping. After starting out the year looking like they could be one of the surprisingly better defensive teams in the league, the Warriors had started to falter on that end of the floor.
The Warriors have ended December with a bang, though, winning their final six games of the month. Golden State capped off those final six games of the month with a solid 94-81 win over the Orlando Magic on New Year’s Eve.
The defense that had started to falter has been the real change for Golden State over this little stretch. Possibly jump-started by a dominant win over the depleted Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 21, the Warriors have been allowing just 88.8 points per 100 possessions to opponents over this stretch, a far cry from where they were prior to these six games.
The Warriors’ offense has slipped a bit over this stretch as well, with the team scoring only 100.4 points per 100 possessions. However, the two stats are not inter-related. If at some point the Warriors can get both their offense and defense clicking simultaneously, Golden State could be a dark-horse to make a run at the Finals out of the West.