Every year it seems like there’s a team that goes above and beyond expectation because of a lack of “talent” or “potential”. In sports, those words are thrown around lightly by pundits all across different mediums.
The problem here is that talent and potential sometimes overshadows the most important aspect of the game–that’s production. Production is the key to winning in any sport you play. If you have a freak of nature athlete that’s picked up a ball for the first time in his life then what good is he? None.
Only in professional sports do the two sides of the spectrum mix to make the perfect athletes. But so many generalizations are made about a team not being talented enough to win.
This season that team is the Golden State Warriors. They’re 19-10–the 5th seed in the Western Conference and second in a deep Atlantic division. They’re killing the west and doing it without the help of Andrew Bogut on the defensive end.
They’re 9th in offensive rating scoring 106.9 points per 100 possessions with a pace of 93.6–that ranks 6th in the league.
Not only are they winning, but they’re doing it in a convincing fashion.
The two most prominent players on this team? Stephen Curry and David Lee. Lee is a one time All-Star, but Curry has never been before. Lee is averaging 19.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. He has a PER of 21.1 and is also 7th in total win shares.
Curry’s season hasn’t been impressive to Curry standards–almost going 40/50/90 in his second season–but he’s still performing at an All-Star level. He’s averaging 19.2 points per game but only shooting 42% from the field. He’s shooting 43% from beyond the arch and 89% from the free throw line. While is field shooting numbers aren’t the best, he’s still getting the job done in other place.
In a star studded Western Conference, the Warriors are playing good basketball. This is the first time that this has happened in years, and its very good for the NBA. While they’re doing it without a mega-star, I don’t think that its fair to say they’re doing it sans star power.
Lee and Curry are going to be All-Stars this season. David Lee has already seen the All-Star game in his career before.
Sure, this team doesn’t rely on them heavily to provide great numbers. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t. The Warriors are a team that relies on ball movement, spacing and pace to play their game. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just ask the San Antonio Spurs.
A stagnant offense is counterproductive to what the ultimate goal is. Keeping the ball held in one’s hand that puts a hold on the production. And remember, production wins games.
There have been multiple times this season where Mark Jackson has said to give the ball to whoever has the best shot. Don’t just give it to Steph, Klay(Thompson), or David and let them go to work. That’s not the proper way to play ball.
It pains me to read tweets that say “give the ball to (insert name here) and get out of the way because that’s not the way that basketball is played. People complain about ugly offense, but that epitomizes just that–an ugly offense. You can’t play winning basketball like that. Its very rare to do so.
There’s no telling who’s going to have the best look so you have to play game that way. Its a fluid sport so let it flow. Basketball isn’t about star power, its about precision and grace. Keep the game ever-flowing.