The Golden State Warriors are loaded with talent and coming off of a title, but that doesn’t mean there’s not room for improvement.
There’s no doubt about how good Golden State is. The Warriors were historically great before Kevin Durant arrived on the scene, then took things to the next level after adding him to the fold. Easily handling LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals served as the proof in their pudding.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sees an area of opportunity for the entire team, though, that can help them become even more efficient. When it comes to being the best in the world, the details become all the more important. Training camp is the perfect time to work on these things.
Nobody would venture to call the Warriors a bad passing team, but Kerr sees the mechanics of their passing as the area the entire team can improve. Considering Golden State is one of the toughest teams in the NBA because of how dangerous they are when they’re moving the ball, it’s a surprising pick.
“We’re getting pretty specific with passing accuracy. We’re trying to improve on our actual fundamentals — passing the ball. We want to layer our offense a little bit — add some options on stuff that we already do…
“We are the most unselfish team around but we’re probably an average passing team in terms of our fundamentals. Our guys see everything, and they move ,and they pass, and they cut; they’re totally unselfish. But you see on tape a lot a guys catching the ball at his shoe laces instead of in his shooting pocket,” Kerr said, according to Drew Shiller of CSN Bay Area.
The Warriors averaged the fifth-most passes per game in the league last season, passing the rock an average of 317.2 times per game. They led the NBA in assists at 30.4 per game, had the most “hockey” assists at 9.6 per game, and the tracking analytics point to Golden State already being elite when it comes to passing.
Kerr knows his team best, though, and he’s absolutely right about the difference between catching the ball in a comfortable shooting position compared to having to drop down to pick up a low pass, or up top for a high pass.
That Kerr isn’t letting the Warriors’ success turn to complacency is also another big deal. It’d be easy for Kerr to sit back and let Steph Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green do their thing. It’s a lot harder to tell the best basketball team in the world they need to work on the basic fundamentals of passing.