The Golden State Warriors are the first team in NBA history to win at least 65 games in three straight seasons. But how many championships will they have at the end of that stretch?
After coming up short (in historical fashion) last year, the Warriors are looking to make it two out of three by finishing the quest this time around. They were, once again, the clear best team in the league over the last six months. Now, it's a matter of proving it over the next two.
The Warriors will begin their quest against a dangerous team that earned its fourth straight playoff appearance by turning its season around after the All-Star break (and a pivotal trade). This is a matchup of the teams with the two best records since March 1.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 1-8 series in the West, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
Golden State Warriors (67-15)
Pace: 102.2 (4)
OffRtg: 113.2 (1)
DefRtg: 101.1 (2)
NetRtg: +12.1 (1)
- One of only four teams in the last 40 years to rank in the top two in both offensive and defensive efficiency, joining the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (first and first), the 2009-10 Orlando Magic (second and second), and the 2014-15 Warriors (second and first). Their NetRtg of plus-12.1 points per 100 possessions is the second best of the last 40 years, trailing only the '95-96 Bulls' mark of plus-13.3.
- Their effective field goal percentage of 56.4 percent was the highest mark in NBA history, topping the record they set last season at 56.3 percent. They led the league in field goal percentage in the restricted area and from mid-range.
- Had the best record (32-10), the best offense (113.6 points scored per 100 possessions), and the best defense (101.8 allowed) in games played between the 16 playoff teams.
- Had the league's best defense after the All-Star break, allowing just 100.0 points per 100 possessions.
- Outscored their opponents by 22.4 points per 100 possessions in the third quarter, the best NetRtg for any team in any quarter since by-quarter numbers started being tracked in 1996-97. Had the league's best third-quarter offense and its best third-quarter defense.
- Curry led the league with a raw plus-minus of plus-1,015. Draymond Green (plus-820), Klay Thompson (plus-801), Kevin Durant (plus-711) and Andre Iguodala (plus-527) ranked second, third, fourth and sixth, respectively.
- Durant shot 78.2 percent in the restricted area, the best mark among players with at least 200 attempts there. Thompson (65.7 percent) and Curry (62.8 percent) ranked second and seventh in restricted area field goal percentage among guards with at least 200 attempts.
- 18.5 percent of their possessions were in transition, the highest rate in the league. Curry (6.0), Durant (5.7) and Klay Thompson (4.2) ranked second, fourth and 10th in fast break points per game. Curry (191) and Thompson (174) ranked first and second in 3-point attempts in the first six seconds of the shot clock.
- According to SportVU, they ran just 40.6 ball screens per game, the fewest in the league. They averaged just 19.3 drives per game, also the fewest in the league.
- Assisted on 70.5 percent of their field goals, the highest rate of any team in the last 13 seasons. Their 9.6 secondary assists per game were 2.7 more than any other team. Curry led all individuals with 2.2 secondary assists per game.
- Grabbed only 74.9 percent of available defensive rebounds, the second lowest rate in the league and the lowest among playoff teams.
- Had the two best lineups that played at least 200 minutes together. The "Death Lineup" - Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant and Green - outscored its opponents by 23.9 points per 100 possessions in 224 minutes together. The Warriors' starters - Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Zaza Pachulia - were the league's best defensive lineup and outscored their opponents by 23.1 points per 100 possessions in 532 minutes together.
- Thompson led the league with 9.3 catch-and-shoot attempts (1.8 more than any other player in the league), 7.1 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts per game, and 78 corner threes. Curry had an effective field goal percentage of 67.8 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers, the best mark among players who attempted at least 300.
- Among 156 players who took at least 250 shots last season and 500 shots this season, Green (-7.0 percent) had the second biggest drop in effective field goal percentage, from 55.1 percent to 48.1 percent. Only Miami's Josh Richardson (-8.3 percent) saw a bigger drop-off.
- Were the most improved team after the All-Star break, 7.8 points per 100 possessions than they were before the break. They were a top-three team in regard to both OffRtg improvement (+4.2 points per 100 possessions) and DefRtg improvement (-3.6 points per 100 possessions). They were one of three teams (Golden State and Miami were the others) to rank in the top 10 on both ends of the floor after the break.
- Went 14-5 in games Jusuf Nurkic started and outscored their opponents by 9.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor after trading for him on Feb. 13.
- Ranked second in 3-point percentage after the All-Star break at 41.0 percent. Allen Crabbe (47.1 percent) and C.J. McCollum (45.6 percent) ranked first and second in post-break 3-point percentage among players with at least 100 attempts.
- Opponents shot a league-low 56.4 percent in the restricted area.
- McCollum shot 54-for-101 (53 percent) on clutch shots, the best mark among 40 players who attempted at least 50. Damian Lillard (36.4 percent) had the fourth lowest clutch field goal percentage among that same group. But McCollum (36-for-38) and Lillard (73-for-78) ranked second and third in clutch free throw percentage among players who took at least 25 free throws with the score within five points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.
- McCollum was one of three players to shoot 45 percent or better on at least 200 non-restricted area paint shots and 45 percent or better on at least 200 mid-range shots.
- Crabbe shot 46.4 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, the third best mark among players who attempted at least 200.
- After the All-Star break, they were 11.5 points per 100 possessions better with Maurice Harkless on the floor (plus-10.3) than they were with him off the floor (minus-1.2).
- All four games took place before the Blazers traded for Nurkic and before Durant was injured. But Al Farouq-Aminu missed the second meeting with a back injury, Curry missed the fourth meeting with a quad injury, and Lillard missed the third meeting with an ankle injury.
- The Warriors won first quarters by a combined scored of 146-104 and the third quarters by a combined scored of 140-92. Curry and Durant combined for 26 points in the first quarter of the Dec. 17 meeting, and Curry scored 23 of his 28 points in the third quarter of the Nov. 1 meeting.
- The Warriors outscored the Blazers by eight points in the 97 minutes that Aminu was on the floor and by 70 points (by a score of 131-96 per 48 minutes) in the 95 minutes that Aminu was off the floor.
- The Blazers outscored the Warriors' Death Lineup, 29-22, in 10 minutes over the first three games.
- Ian Clark shot 19-for-25 in the four games, the best mark among players who took at least 25 shots against the Blazers this season.
- Green scored just 23 total points in the four games, but his 9.5 assists were the most any player averaged against Portland this season.