Tagged: Stephen Curry

Statistical Insight into the Golden State Warriors’ Offseason: Are They Better?

By: Patrick Sisbarro and Reed Bakich


In the 2012-2013 season, the Warriors emerged as a playoff-caliber team, finishing 47-35, and had their first winning season since the 2007-2008 campaign.  Steph Curry shot the lights out and finished the season leading the team in points (22.9), assists (6.9), and steals (1.6). Steph Curry’s development into a premiere scorer and sharpshooter helped the Warriors finish 7th in the league in points per game (101.2) and 3rd in rebounds per game (45).  David Lee and Andrew Bogut lead the way in rebounding with 11.2 and 7.7 respectively.  Bogut dramatically improved his rebounding to 10.9 in the playoffs, but that may have been due to the injury of David Lee.  The Warriors leave much room for improvement however, finishing 11th in the league in offensive rating (determined by points produced per 100 possessions), and 14th in defensive rating (an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions). In addition, they were 15th in the league in assists and 19th in points allowed.

In order to find out what the Warriors specifically need in order to improve, Table 1 was created.  This summarizes the data from all of last season’s box scores, including the playoffs.  In the “Prediction %” column, every time the Warriors performance in a certain statistical category matched the game’s outcome, I considered the statistic predictive of the game’s outcome. For example, if the Warriors score more field goals than the Los Angeles Clippers during a game and ultimately win, this yields a correct prediction. Conversely, if the Warriors had scored more field goals and lost the game instead, this prediction would be incorrect.  The “Winning %” column displays the results of similar analysis, but ignores any game where the Warriors lost.  The purpose of throwing out the losses is to see which statistics, if won, most directly lead to a win in the game.

Table 1. Prediction/Winning Percentage of Box Score Statistics

Box Score Stats

Prediction %

Winning %

Field Goals Made



Field Goal %



Defensive Rebounds






Total Rebounds



3-point Field Goal %



3-point Field Goals Made



Free Throws Made



Free Throw %



Offensive Rebounds









Field Goals Attempted



Field goals made and field goal percentage are widely accepted as accurate indicators of game outcomes and key in securing high winning percentages, but defensive rebounding, assists, total rebounds, and 3-point field goals made also proved to be important to winning.  Rebounding and 3-point shooting are particularly relevant considering the Warriors’ standing as one of the best squads in the league in those categories.  It is also fitting that assists are near the top on both lists.  This is a statistic that the Warriors struggled in last season, finishing 15th.  Clearly, when the Warriors rebound well and win the assist battle, they have a high probability of winning.

After the Spurs defeated the Warriors 4-2 in the Western Conference semifinals and seemingly found a way to slow down Steph Curry, the Warriors knew they needed to make some offseason moves to remain competitive in the Western Conference and have another shot at winning the finals.  However, in order to make cap space for an elite player and Steph Curry’s expiring rookie contract, the Warriors would have to get rid of some role players.  The Warriors’ offseason was newsworthy to say the least. They signed four new players (including Andre Iguodala), drafted a new pick, and saw eight players leave (most notably Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry).  Table 2 shows the notable new and old players with their corresponding offensive rating, defensive rating, player efficiency, and win shares.  The player efficiency rating (PER) essentially adds the positive accomplishments of a player and subtracts the negative, returning a per-minute player production.  This per-minute player production statistic is normalized so that the league average is 15.  Win shares estimate the total number of wins to which a player contributes, and is derived from points produced and total offensive possessions.

Table 2. Advanced Statistics of Notable Incoming/Departing Players


Off. Rtg.

Def. Rtg.


Win Shares

Players In

Toney Douglas





Andre Iguodala





Jermaine O’Neal





Marreese Speights





Players Out

Andris Biedrins





Jarrett Jack





Carl Landry





Brandon Rush*





*Brandon Rush’s numbers are from the 2011-2012 season since he was injured last season.

Jarrett Jack

Jarrett Jack was a huge player for the Warriors last season, finishing 3rd in the “6th Man of the Year” vote.  Jack averaged 12.9 points per game and was one of the sharpshooters on the team, averaging a .404 3-point field goal percentage.  In addition Jack contributed 5.6 assists per game and assisted on 29.9% of his teammates’ field goals while on the floor.  The former Georgia Tech star was a veteran presence in the locker room and proved capable to step in as a starter when Curry was not 100%.  Jarrett Jack had an offensive rating of 110 and defensive rating at 108, meaning he was a net positive player per 100 possessions.  In addition, he had a player efficiency rating of 15.9, which is above the league average of 15.  Jack used to have a usage percentage of 21, which means he used 21% of his team’s plays while on the floor.  In addition, Jack made many clutch shots, especially in the playoffs. Having to lose Jack causes the Warriors to lose not only a role player, but also depth and a solid 3-point shooter.

Carl Landry

Carl Landry was another player with a crucial role in the Warriors’ success.  The 6’9” forward was a key role player coming off the bench that played 23.2 minutes per game.  Landry was a pretty efficient shooter, making 54% of all field goals attempted.  During Andrew Bogut’s injury early in the season, Landry was able to give them great depth at the forward position, softening the blow of losing their center.  Landry contributed 6.2 win shares, which is an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes to.  He was third on the team in that category behind Steph Curry and David Lee.  In addition, Landry was a very efficient player, with a PER of 17.5.  His offensive rating and defensive rating were 116 and 106 respectively.  The differential between the two ratings, 10, is the largest on the team.  Clearly Landry was one of the top contributors for the Warriors and will be deeply missed next season.

Andris Biedrins

Biedrins was an absolute disaster for the Warriors this season.  The Warrior center played 9.3 minutes per game and only managed to score 0.5 points per game.  His PER was an appalling 7.7.  The only stats that look decent on paper are his offensive rating and defensive rating, which were 102 and 98 respectively.  However, these numbers are likely because his usage percentage was a measly 3.7%.  When a player uses so little of his team’s possessions, it allows for a spike in offensive rating because usage percentage and offensive rating are inversely proportional.  If Biedrins had used even 10% of his team’s possessions while he was on the floor, there is no doubt that he would be a net negative player in terms of these ratings.  Biedrins failed to assert himself during the season and lost playing time with the return of Andrew Bogut.  One might go as far as to say that the Warriors may be better off without him next year.

Brandon Rush

The biggest piece of the Warriors’ salary dump on the Utah Jazz, was Brandon Rush. Acquired two years ago in a trade with the Indiana Pacers for Lou Amundson (what a steal!), Rush established himself as a key player off the bench, proving to be an effective offensive weapon during the 2011-12 season. He notched far and away the best shooting percentages of his career: 50 % from the field, 45% from three-point range and 79% from the free throw line. His offensive value can also be seen in his career-high, 2.9 offensive win shares. Rush looked to build on this career season, but tore his ACL in the second game of the 2012-13 season, and never returned to action. While the Warriors are certainly losing a great role player, their multitude of scoring options and depth at shooting guard (Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson) puts them in a position in which they would be underutilizing Rush if they were to keep him. Rush has proven that he can do some good things on the court, but the Bay Area is no longer the right place for him.

Departures as a Whole

In summary, while the Warriors 2013 offseason didn’t feature the departure of a major player, it saw them lose almost their entire existing bench to different teams. Most attention should be focused on the losses of Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack. Their significance to the Warriors this past season was two-fold. Both Jack and Landry provided depth at positions of injury concern. Landry was able to provide valuable frontcourt minutes when Andrew Bogut was injured during the regular season as well as when David Lee went down in the playoffs. Jack, meanwhile, gave the Warriors another viable option to run the point should anything happen to the oft-injured Stephen Curry. However, these two didn’t just provide depth at key spots, they provided quality depth. Jack was a member of six of the team’s 10 best regular season lineup combinations, while Landry was part of four. They also played together on three of these top 10 lineups, illustrating the chemistry they had with each other and the rest of the team. As you can see, Landry and Jack played a large part in the success enjoyed by the Warriors last season. While their presence along with that of Brandon Rush will be missed, good health for what now can be considered an elite starting lineup, should go a long way to determining the success of this team and would certainly cushion the blow of losing the aforementioned players.

Toney Douglas

Toney Douglas was acquired as a suitable replacement for Jarrett Jack, although it is not expected for him to completely fill the shoes of Jack.  Douglas is a decent 3-point shooter, hitting from behind the arc 38% of the time last season.  He chipped in 7.5 PPG and a .905 free throw percentage.  Douglas is averaging 15.2 points per 36 minutes for his career.  In addition, Toney Douglas is a solid defender, which will help reduce their points allowed next season.  After being traded from the Rockets to the Kings during last season, Douglas’s offensive rating and defensive rating became 111 and 108 respectively, which is actually better than Jack’s during that time (refer to Table 2).  However, I am by no means saying that Douglas is better, or even close.  Toney Douglas was a decent replacement for Jack, but the Warriors did lose point guard depth with this move.  Douglas probably will not be able to produce as much offensively, nor as clutch as Jack.  He provided key minutes when Curry needed rest and even could work in tandem with Curry.

 Andre Iguodala

The acquisition of Andre Iguodala was the marquee move of the offseason for the Warriors.  This was an interesting move because of the amount they gave up, but it may pay dividends.  The Warriors traded Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, two first-round, and two second-round picks to the Jazz, in order to receive Kevin Murphy.  The Warriors obviously weren’t making this trade because of their need for Kevin Murphy; it was just to clear cap space to make the Iguodala signing.  Iguodala is a top three wing defender that certainly improves their perimeter defense.  The Warriors struggled in points allowed last season, finishing 19th, so Iggy should bring the Warriors in the top half of the league in that statistic.  Iguodala had a defensive rating of 105 last season for the Denver Nuggets.  I feel that Iguodala can do better than a 105 rating and that number could be explained by the style of play implemented by Denver.  Denver’s now ex-coach, George Karl, is known for playing an up-tempo offense, which could lead to broken down transition plays that could hurt Iguodala’s defensive stats.  Although Iguodala is known for his defense, he is not exactly talentless offensively.  He has the ability to create his own shot due to his incredible athleticism and length for a listed shooting guard.  Iguodala’s offensive rating last year was only 105, which is not indicative of his 109 rating for his career.  Iguodala proved in the playoffs that he is capable of putting up high offensive numbers by having an offensive rating of 116.  His PER was just above average last season, 15.2, and has achieved a career player efficiency rating of 16.9.  Iguodala assisted on 22.4% of his team’s baskets while he was on the floor.  The Warriors could definitely use another distributor on their team.  Iguodala averages about 13 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 5.3 RPG.  Andre was one of the best players on a 57 win Denver team last season and is an elite defender, so there is no doubt that having him in the lineup improves the Warriors.  Despite the amount they gave up to sign him, this will prove to be a great signing.

Jermaine O’Neal

Jermaine O’Neal had a surprisingly productive season last year for the Phoenix Suns.  He played 18.7 minutes per game, and scored 8.3 points per game.  In addition, O’Neal reeled in 5.3 boards per game.  His stats per 36 minutes were even better considering his average performance the two seasons prior.  He averaged 15.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes.  O’Neal’s  PER was 16.7, and had 2.0 win shares.  O’Neal was able to pull down 23.8% of his team’s defensive rebounds as well.  This was a solid acquisition for the Warriors and gives them even more depth at center/foward.  With David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, and now Jermaine O’Neal, coach Mark Jackson has a lot of options at his disposal for those positions.

Marreese Speights

The Warriors move to sign Marreese Speights was for the sole purpose of replacing Carl Landry.  Speights is a quality player, but is just not the same caliber player as Landry.  He averaged 8.3 PPG and 4.9 rebounds during his tenure at Memphis and Cleveland last season.  Speights had 2.8 win shares, with 1.7 of them coming on the defensive end.  This, along with his defensive rating of 98 while at Memphis shows that he is a valuable defensive player.  Last season Speights had a usage rate of 25.8%, which will definitely be lower next season.  As a result of this expected decline in usage rate, this should make him an even more efficient player and improve his offensive rating.

A Look Inside the 2013-2014 Season

Before last season, the Warriors were just the team with incredible fans that were extremely supportive, even when the team played poorly.  The Warriors have now solidified a lethal starting five, with the projected starters being Andrew Bogut – C, David Lee – PF, Andre Iguodala – SF, Klay Thompson – SG, and Steph Curry – PG.  These starters make the Warriors strong in every aspect of the game.  I would even go as far as to say they have one of the best, if not the best, all-around starting five in the NBA.  The Warriors were already third in rebounding, and their two leading rebounders are on the starting five.  In addition to rebounding, the Warriors have a multitude of height with four legitimate players above 6’10”.   On the defensive end, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut combine for a lethal starting defensive duo, with Harrison Barnes and Marreese Speights coming off the bench.  Barnes, Iguodala, and Toney Douglas can hold down the perimeter defense, while Bogut and Speights can control the paint and inside the 3-point arc.  With several great defenders at their disposal, they will certainly improve on last season’s 100.3 points allowed per game (19th in the league).  Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are still improving players that make up an incredible backcourt that will remain very potent.   The Warriors still have tremendous depth with the majority of the roster being capable of stepping in and giving productive minutes.  Although the bench this year does not contain the quality of players like Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry (with the exception of Harrison Barnes), their talented starting five and deep bench will definitely make up for it.  That is a plethora of talented bodies for a coach to choose from, and that is never a bad thing.  The Warriors have set themselves up for immediate and long-term success through this offseason.  The 2013-2014 season will bring fans in the Bay Area much to cheer about with such a talented young team.  Not only have the Warriors improved their squad, but also have made themselves a very real threat to win the West.

*Some statistics were provided by http://www.basketball-reference.com and others were derived from own information.