Contrary to what the Golden State Warriors’ motto of “Strength in Numbers” would have you believe, Curry has become a bigger part of the team with time. There were two very distinct Warriors teams: one with Curry and one without, even at the peak of Kevin Durant’s career.
They won’t have Curry for the upcoming few weeks, so they won’t have much room for error as they fight to avoid the lottery, which is a real possibility, as well as staying above the play-in line in a crowded Western Conference.
The Warriors looked as good as they have all season in a 141-114 victory over the visiting Thunder in their first full game without Curry since he was forced to leave the game with a left knee injury. The Warriors were especially effective from 3-point range. This came after the Warriors completed a victory against Dallas in the contest in which Curry suffered an injury.
Golden State has managed without Curry this season, continuing a pleasantly unexpected theme. In the 16 games he hasn’t played, it has gone 8-8 overall and 7-2 in the last nine.
On Monday, the Warriors made 26 3-pointers, one short of the franchise record, with the help of Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson. With 12 points on his own, Thompson fell two short of his previous NBA single-game record of 14. He only required 16 tries. a 75% success rate. Very good.
It is the ninth time in Thompson’s career that he has made at least 10 three-pointers in a game; if it weren’t for Curry, who has accomplished this feat 22 times, it would also be an NBA record. The only players in history to have twice each recorded multiple games with at least 12 3-pointers are Curry and Thompson.
What was Thompson’s night’s wackiest statistic? He didn’t make even one free throw attempt. His 42 points surpass Donovan Mitchell’s 38 against the Knicks in October to become the highest in the NBA this season without a free throw.
Even if it is amazing to do so much damage with jump shots, it is not a statistic the Warriors will be happy with. The Warriors attempt fewer free throws than any other team in the NBA, and even part of their seven attempts on Monday came during garbage time.
Never a huge fan of the free throw, Thompson. He barely ever enters the lane or even the rim. I’m not sure whether you want him to dribble more than is required, to be honest. The Warriors still have a steep hill to climb since they not only make the fewest free throws, but they also concede the most points.
It won’t probably change. Simply making plenty of photos will be enough for them to make up for the difference.
But let’s go back to the good stuff: Poole was outstanding. He completely resembled Steph for one night. He scored a career-high 12 assists, destroying the Thunder as a playmaker.
Here, Poole attacks the open side of the hoop to force Josh Giddey to switch positions before bouncing a ball to an open Andrew Wiggins for the easy dunk.
When it seemed like Poole would have a somewhat quiet scoring night, he began looking for his own shot. As a result, he ended up with five 3-pointers and 21 points in a very patient effort. Such a Curry thing, that. A peaceful shooting night quickly became nuclear.
Obviously, Poole and Thompson won’t perform like this every night. But wow, what a boost it would be with every being so crucial at this point if they can catch a hot run over the next two weeks and buoy the Warriors going into the All-Star break.
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