At 50-5, it’s obvious the Warriors don’t have many weaknesses. But if there’s one aspect of the game that most agree could eventually come back to bite them it’s turnovers.
It’s not so much that the Warriors commit 15.3 per game, which is in the bottom quarter of the league, it’s that they seem to come in bunches, at the worst times and in large part because of carelessness. Case in point: Their 13-turnover, third quarter against the Blazers on Friday.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it. When you score at the rate the Warriors score at one of the few things that can get them beat is limiting their own possessions. If the Warriors are giving the ball away 15-20 times a night, those are just times Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson or somebody else can’t take a 3-pointer, which very well may go in.
At the same time, it’s unrealistic to believe the Warriors can treat the ball any better than they are now. In fact, the Warriors should be commended for never resembling a team like the the Houston Rockets or Sacramento Kings in the open court.
Many of the Warriors turnovers occur because of a misread on a backdoor or back cut or because of their mere style the play — they pass the ball more frequently than any other team out there and they lead the league in assists. They don’t give it to a guy and say “go to work.”
Some of the Warriors’ turnovers are borne out of their sheer greatness and because they’re not being challenged on a consistent basis. In a lot of ways this team isn’t measuring itself against the current NBA teams, it’s measuring itself against the greatest of all time.
This Warriors team is being compared to the “Showtime” Lakers, the mid-80s Celtics, the Bulls of 1996, etc. Everyone wants to know where their place in history will be if and when they repeat. There’s no such thing as a ho-hum game against the Hawks on a Monday, anymore. Nope. Every game now seems like it’s an opportunity for the Warriors to show just how great they are … for the Warriors to put on a show.
And that’s what they try to do at times.
The Warriors have spent a good portion of this season playing with a big lead and in total control of an opponent. It’s happened so frequently that it’s almost gotten routine for this team to be up huge. You know the stat: Curry has sat out 16 fourth quarters. It’s absolutely, positively human nature to play a little bit differently in a basketball game you know you’re going to win than one you’re not sure of. And it makes sense that the Warriors are guilty of trying to do too much at times. Good.
The Warriors know they’re the talk of the NBA and that all kinds of people are checking out their games. They know they’re flirting with history. How can they not get a little bored with the run-of-the-mill mediocre NBA team in this day and age? You can’t blame them for trying to spice things up a little bit — a gratuitous behind-the-back pass here, a risky alley-oop there, a no-look something or other, a one-handed shovel, a between-the-legs dribble, whatever.
It’s possible that come playoff time the Warriors’ looseness with the ball could hurt them. But don’t bet on it. The turnovers might be more from a lack of competition.