What’s wrong with the Golden State Warriors?
Their latest loss against the Charlotte Bobcats was an eye-opener. The Warriors simply could not play consistent defense. They allowed an anemic Bobcats’ offense to put up 115 points on a team that prides itself in defensive play.
The roster is built on strong defensive play as well. In addition to David Lee‘s great defensive rebounding skills, there is the shot-blocking Andrew Bogut, and the young Harrison Barnes. But, the missing piece is the injury to Andre Iguodala. Without “Iggy,” the Warriors are allowing 7.8 points more than with him in the lineup. That kind of contrast is incredible.
Without the strong perimeter defense and pick-pocketing skills of Iggy, the Warriors are simply a sieve defensively. It can be made into a case that Barnes and Bogut should plug the holes until he’s back, but that simply isn’t the case so far. The Warriors are 4-6 after the Iguodala injury.
It’s not all Iguodala’s defense that the Warriors miss, it’s simply having another ball-handler. Last season, the NBA was exposed to Stephen Curry‘s lack of success as the primary ball-handler. Because of the “backup” point guard, Jarrett Jack, Curry was allowed to roam the perimeter and cut with ease. With the ball, Curry was clogged down and forced to make plays for his entire team.
While Harrison Barnes is growing into a solid NBA player, his contributions off the bench made the Warriors lethal, but he is needed to spell Curry off the ball every now and again. With Iguodala, the responsibility of point guard could be balanced and spread out.
The Warriors are suffering from Iggy’s injury, but the reasons for the struggles are scary. Defensive can be fixed with athleticism and zones, but if the team’s issues continue offensively, this may not be a title-contender for this season.
Photo credit: NBA.com
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