Numbers show a stark contrast with Stephen Curry on and off the floor
The Golden State Warriors have been forced to adapt their system with All-Star point guard Stephen Curry out with a Grade 2 sprained MCL injury, suffered 10 games before the end of the regular season.
Using a heavy dose of Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, however, still hasn’t proved anywhere close to what the former two-time MVP has brought to the table.
The Warriors went an NBA-best 41-10 with Curry on the lineup, while averaging 120.4 points per 100 possessions — the best offensive rating over the past 20 seasons, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
With him off the floor, however, the Golden State only mustered a 17-14 record in the regular season with an offensive efficiency right around the league average.
Head coach Steve Kerr was forced to re-shape his offense after the Warriors finished 7-10 in their last 17 games of the season, given their piling injuries and lack of cohesion on the floor.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘restructured’ [offense]; I would say ‘refine’ is a better word because we’re not doing anything that we haven’t done all year,” Kerr told Haynes. “It’s more that we’re focusing on certain things, certain sets.”
“Obviously, Kevin has the ball in his hands more. Andre [Iguodala] and Shaun [Livingston] are handling the ball more than usual, but we’re still doing the same things in terms of ball movement and spacing and pace, trying to make good decisions and then getting the ball to Klay [Thompson] and KD as often as we can.”
While this “refined” offense has shown a major progress, it’s done little to resemble the explosive offense the Warriors boasted with Curry in the lineup — to no fault of Kerr, who has had to adapt on the fly.
Yet the biggest test will come by re-incorporating Curry into the lineup, as he is scheduled to be re-evaluated by Friday, a day prior to the start of the second round against the well-rested New Orleans Pelicans.