The Golden State Warriors, for all of their offensive firepower, have been a potential contender for the 2013-14 NBA season largely because of their improvement on the defensive end of the floor this season. With the addition of Andre Iguodala this season, the Warriors defense has been much more efficient in limiting their opponents overall on that end of the floor.
For the year, the Warriors have been the fifth best team in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, allowing just 99.8 points per 100 possessions. However, the Warriors have started to slip since the turn of the new year. In January, the Warriors had allowed 106.2 points per 100 possessions over 11 games coming into their matchup on Sunday night with the Portland Trail Blazers. Subsequently, they had just a 6-5 record in January coming into the contest.
The Warriors put their January defensive woes behind them on Sunday night, though, and delivered a masterful defensive performance against the Blazers. Golden State limited Portland to just 88 points on the night while holding them to just 33.7 percent shooting from the floor and just 28.6 percent three-point shooting.
While the Trail Blazers were on the second night of a back-to-back, seeing the Warriors defend at this level was impressive and a positive sign for them moving forward. They were helping well, staying in position, and closing out on the shooters for the Blazers. It was an all-around effort that looked well.
Stephen Curry and company undoubtedly have the ability to outscore teams, but their defense is going to be key to them making a run in the playoffs, this team’s ultimate goal. We’ll see if this was a one-time, situation-aided thing or if the Warriors can get back to a more balanced way of playing and, more than likely, more success.