Tag: Golden State Warriors

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

Warriors prove a jump-shooting team can win a championship


No NBA champion has ever shot like Golden State.

The Warriors attempted 3-pointers on 31% of their shots this season – a high for an NBA champion.

They also made 40% of their 3-point attempts – second-most by an NBA champion.

Were they an aberration, the only team that will feature the best 3-point shooter of all-time (Stephen Curry), a second excellent 3-point shooter (Klay Thompson) and a strong supporting cast of 3-point shooters (Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa)?

Well, yeah, probably – at least if you consider next year’s Warriors the same team.

But the NBA has also been trending toward a champion that shoots like this. If it weren’t Golden State, it would have been someone else eventually – though credit the Warriors for jumping the curve.

Here’s how NBA champions (gold) and the NBA average (blue) has evolved with 3-point attempt rate:


And 3-point percentage:


Plot both 3-point attempt rate and 3-point percentage on the same graph, and you can see NBA champions work their way from the bottom left to the top right – all the way to the 2015 Warriors:

NBA players shoot better than ever. Not trusting jumpers is an antiquated notion established before the 3-point arc and when the ball was more irregularly shaped. As jump shots have become more reliable, players have integrated them more deeply into their practice habits, creating a snowball effect.

The Warriors embraced 3-point shooting quicker than the curve, and that became a key weapon on their title run. A bigger weapon: Their top-ranked defense, which often got overlooked for their offensive style.

But if you’re overly concerned with offensive style, realize this: More elite jump-shooting teams are coming. Better get used to it.

NBA Finals Game 6 phantom cam highlights (video)

2015 NBA Finals - Game Six

One last chance to watch the most aesthetically beautiful highlights available – these featuring Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thomson and Festus Ezeli.

Watch Andre Iguodala rack up points in Game 6 on way to winning Finals MVP


Andre Iguodala was named Finals MVP in large part because he did as good a job as anyone was going to when asked to slow down LeBron James.

I’ve been preparing for the moment for 11 years now,” Iguodala said of defending LeBron (who still put up historic numbers). “I’ve seen him every year I’ve been in this league.  LeBron doesn’t have any weaknesses, or he doesn’t have a glaring weakness.  So you’ve got to pick up on the smaller things to try to make him uncomfortable.  Like knowing which side he likes to shoot threes off the dribble, which side he likes to drive.  One side he’ll drive left more often, and the other side he’ll drive right more often.”

More than just the defense, Iguodala got the hardware for his offense. When the Warriors went small the reason was to expose Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov defensively, and you can see in this highlight package how Iguodala did that. Mozgov wants to hang back and protect the rim, and when Draymond Green or other Warriors drove right at him Mozgov did his job well. But if you can knock down threes, or even nice 18 footers, he will give those to you rather than come out. And when he does come out to cover more on the perimeter, the lane opens up.

Iguodala rightfully fully enjoyed the celebration after the game. He had earned it.