Why the Golden State Warriors are still contenders

The Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA champions but are sitting fifth in a rather congested Western Conference, as the standings undergo wholesale changes by the day. 

At 36-33, the Warriors hold the tiebreaker over the Los Angeles Clippers for the 6-seed, but are only one game ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the seventh and first play-in spot. 

Despite an abysmal 7-26 road record, Golden State’s 29-7 home record has kept them around .500, which is why Chris Broussard remains optimistic that the Splash Brothers and Co. are still contenders.

On Tuesday, Broussard gave three reasons why you shouldn’t count out Golden State just yet


1. Experience and IQ

The Warriors’ core (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green) have been together for a decade. Curry is the elder statesman, entering the league in 2009. Thompson sits in the middle, making his professional debut in 2011, and Green came to the Bay in 2012.

After claiming their fourth NBA title last season — their sixth Finals appearance in nine years — they’ve won 22 total playoff series, second-most all-time, just a few shy of the San Antonio Spurs‘ “Big Three” of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker.

Steph’s still in his prime

Curry turned 35 this week, but Broussard still believes he’s in his prime. 

“Chef” is averaging 29.6 points (the third-highest of his career), a career-high 6.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He’s shooting 49.7% from the field (the second-highest of his career) and 43.6% from 3.

“Steph is in his prime still,” Broussard said. “He’s still a great player.”

Klay and the Warriors can still shoot

Just like Curry, Klay hasn’t shown any signs of letting up offensively, averaging 22.3 points per game, tied for the most in his career, and shooting 41.1% from 3.

“They’re the best shooting team in the league,” Broussard said. “They take the most 3s in the league, and in an NBA where shooting the 3 is more important than ever, you can not write them off.”

The Warriors as a team are still among the best in the NBA offensively and from 3, posting the third-highest offensive rating in franchise history — 115 points per 100 possessions — while shooting 38.4% from 3, which ranks third in the league behind the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, two of the top teams in the league. 

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