Golden State Warriors

NBA power rankings from The Athletic: Warriors reach top half of list for 1st time

Well this took certainly long enough.

For the first time this season, Zach Harper of The Athletic has the Warriors ranked in the top half of the NBA in his weekly power rankings. Golden State started the season at No. 28, then rose to the 24th spot last week. This week, just after the Warriors beat the Raptors to improve their record to 6-4, Harper’s opinion has changed even more significantly.

The veteran NBA scribe lists Golden State No. 13 in his power rankings this week. The team earned a 3-1 record, beating the Kings, Clippers and Raptors and losing to those same Clippers. Here’s what he had to say about the Warriors in his expansive article.

The difference of Steph Curry with Draymond Green on the court and the two-time MVP without Green on the court is startling. The Golden State Warriors demigod is shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from deep when Green is on the floor with him this season. It’s not quite in line with his career marks (47.6 percent field goal, 43.4 percent 3-point field goal), but it’s a far cry from what we’ve seen from Curry without Green as a running mate so far. Without Green on the court, Curry has shot 41.9 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from deep. Just to put that in perspective, Curry has had the career deep shooting accuracy of Jae Crowder (34.0 percent) this season when Green is on the bench.

Zach Harper/The Athletic

The bond between star guard Stephen Curry and forward Draymond Green is undeniably strong. For starters, they’ve won three NBA championships together. And lately, it’s no surprise Green was instrumental in Curry’s 62-point performance against the Blazers last week.

And of course Harper makes Curry’s poor shooting percentage without Green this season vivid in mentioning Jae Crowder as a comparison.

But he’s right: with a bevy of new players on the Warriors and a shifting rotation, Curry and Green remain the same. They have a magic that can’t be duplicated, and the Warriors will count on it heavily this season.

The entire team earned this improvement in the rankings, however, especially after Curry had one of his worst shooting nights ever against the Raptors. They’ll try to make another jump in Harper’s rankings this week, starting against the Pacers on Tuesday followed by the Nuggets and Suns before a meeting with the champion Lakers to start next week’s slate of games.

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