5 Keys to Golden State Warriors’ 2014 NBA Title Hopes
5 Keys To The Golden State Warriors' 2014 NBA Title Hopes
This season, the Golden State Warriors are considered a team that could make a run at the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
The Warriors are currently 30-20 and in sixth place in the Western Conference. The team had a strong season last year, but fell short in the Western Conference Semi-Finals to the San Antonio Spurs.
This season, Golden State's roster looks better than last year's. The team signed Andre Igoudala in the offseason. The signing strengthened the Warriors at the small forward spot. He also makes the Warriors a more threatening team in transition and better team for defending the perimeter.
Golden State's starting point guard, Stephen Curry, has already said that the Warriors are going to win the NBA Championship this season.
It is surprising that the Warriors are only in sixth place, but I believe the team will step it up come playoff time. Golden State still has the potential to make a deep playoff run. The Warriors must rely on certain players and parts of their game to capture that title. Here is a look at the keys to Golden State's 2014 title hopes.
Defense wins championships. That is a fact that will never change!
Golden State has a solid and consistent defense. The Warriors currently hold opponents to 98.6 points and 43 percent shooting from field-goal range per game. There are only two teams in the NBA that hold their opponents to less than 43 percent shooting, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers.
The Warriors need to focus more on steals and turnovers. Golden State is only averaging 7.8 steals per game, but allowing their opponents to steal the ball 8.4 times per game. Losing the turnover differential can be extremely dangerous in the playoffs. One of the Warriors' best defenders is Stephen Curry, who is averaging a team high 1.8 steals per game. The Warriors need to continue to improve perimeter defense and get more steals per game.
Other than Curry, the Warriors must rely heavily on the defensive performance of Andre Igoudala. He was a strong contender for Defensive Player of the Year last season and has been playing at the same level this year. Igoudala is the most versatile defender on the Warriors. He is also their most important defender.
To keep their title hopes alive, Golden State cannot struggle to find scoring off the bench.
The Warriors recently acquired Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks in a trade to help strengthen their backcourt rotation. This trade was a smart deal made by the franchise.
Jermaine O'Neal is another important bench piece for the Warriors. He is a veteran with a high basketball IQ who contributes on both ends of the court. Recently he has suffered injuries, it is important that he stays healthy to contribute to the Golden State's playoff run.
The Warriors have an amazing starting roster, but the team will not win the 2014 NBA Title without a solid and consistent performance from their bench players.
The West is filled with very talented big men. Some of the Warriors' competition is Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
For the Warriors to make a successful run at the title, the team needs Bogut to be consistent and productive each night. The Warriors should limit some of his minutes because he has been injury prone throughout his career. Golden State must make sure Bogut is 100 percent healthy come playoff time or Golden State's title dreams could be doomed.
The Warriors have had success this year because they understand how important rebounding is. Golden State is currently in second in the NBA for rebounds per game. The team averages 46.0 rebounds a game, 2.8 more than their opponent. If the Warriors allow themselves to get out-rebounded in the playoffs, then they stand no chance at winning a title.
The Splash Brothers
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are known around the league as "The Splash Brothers."
The Splash Bros. are one of the best backcourts that the NBA has seen in history. These two move the ball tremendously and have some of the nicest jumpshots the league has ever seen. Both players are extremely young , Curry (25) and Thompson (24). Curry is having his best season yet averaging 24.5 points, 9.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Thompson is also having his best season yet averaging 18.6 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.
The duo is best known for their sharpshooting abilities. Both shoot over 40 percent from three-point range and over 46 percent from two-point range.
The Splash Bros are the one of the most important keys to Golden State's title hopes.