Golden State Warriors

Warriors climb up the ladder in two key NBA defensive rankings

Defense. That’s what coach Steve Kerr has preached to his Warriors since the abbreviated preseason.

It’s taken 20 games, but Kerr’s vision is taking shape. Golden State has improved in two vital defensive categories after looking horrendous at times this early NBA season. Here are are the data, courtesy of Marcus Thompson III of The Athletic.

As Thompson notes, the return of former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green has made all the difference. Without Green, for instance, Golden State was whooped badly by the Nets and Bucks to open the season. There were some growing pains when as Green has slowly returned to his old, healthy self, but his defensive prowess works wonders.

And Green says he’s still weeks away from returning completely to form. How high could the Warriors’ ranking reach? There’s no doubt that Kerr’s goal, however lofty, is to be first in multiple defensive categories, including field goal percentage and defensive rating. That’s how Golden State’s dynasty of the last decade started, and Kerr’s not about to change the formula.

(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

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