Golden State Warriors

Warriors ‘learning on the fly’ as they rise to the top of NBA standings

The Golden State Warriors own the NBA’s best record after wrapping up a season-long eight-game homestand with a 119-93 win against the Bulls on Friday, but do they have the potential to actually get better as a team?

They’re 11-1 now, so if that’s the case, watch out. According to Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry, that is indeed the case — the NBA has yet to see the best from this year’s Golden State squad.

“We’re winning and learning on the fly,” Curry said. “We’ve got really good momentum. For eight games, it’s hard to stay locked in. It was a really impressive homestand.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Of course, eight games at home is a great opportunity for some of Curry’s new teammates to become acclimated with one another. But as Curry said, they’re doing so even as they beat teams by double digits on a near-nightly basis. Golden State went 7-1 on the homestand and each win came by 10 or more points.

Those results come as coach Steve Kerr is toying with Curry’s regular rotation — he’s always played the entire first and third quarters while playing the latter half of the second and fourth quarters, but not lately — and also finding minutes for rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Kerr has veterans to work in as well, with new additions Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., and Gary Payton the second.

Plus G Jordan Poole is playing a huge role in just his third year — and that will change once G Klay Thompson finally returns from back-to-back catastrophic injuries. He’s set to return in late December or early January.

That’s a lot of moving parts. But at the center of it all is Curry. He scored 40 points against the Bulls and is having another MVP-type season thus far. The real learning curve, in fact, is for everyone taking a page from Draymond Green’s book and learning how to play with the uniquely gifted Curry.

Curry knows that while he’s playing well, his superpowers have yet to be fully unleashed this season. His unique qualities take time for teammates to become accustomed to, and some players never fully adjust, as evidenced by last season in Golden State.

That’s moving along nicely in 2021-22, and the Warriors defense is the best in the NBA thus far, just as it was when Curry, Green, and Thompson won their first NBA title in 2015. That’s the underlying fact that keeps everyone on the same page in Golden State — at the top of the learning curve lies a potential NBA championship and with it, NBA immortality. So far, they’re definitely on the straight and narrow track.

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