The Golden State Warriors helped revolutionize how people in and around the game of basketball view the three-point shot. Over the past 10 seasons, they have finished as a top-five three-point shooting team seven times.
Stephen Curry holds most NBA three-point shooting records and Klay Thompson isn’t far behind on many of those lists. But so far in 2023-24, the Warriors have been a mediocre shooting team from both the two-point and three-point ranges.
Though Golden State is sixth in three-pointers made and seventh in three-pointers attempted, they rank 17th in the league in three-point percentage (35.4%). In other words, the Warriors are still taking and making a lot of threes — just not nearly as accurately as they’ve done in years past.
The second week of November is far too early to mash the panic button on an entire season — though discouraging, there are 72 games remaining in the NBA season. But the Warriors roster needs a significant uptick in production if this team wants to contend in the Western Conference again.
Everyone except for Curry, anyway, who is shooting 45.2% from deep and on pace to break his own record for three-point makes in a single season.
Wiggins, Thompson Need to Get Back on Track
38.0%. 39.3%. 39.6%. 16.7%.
Those are Andrew Wiggins’ three-point percentages in each season he’s played in Golden State. If you didn’t notice, one of those numbers is not like the others — it’s the last one, which is his three-point percentage this season. He’s shooting just 14% on non-corner three-pointers (3/21) and just 65% within four feet of the rim, a far cry from the 72% rim-finishing clip he posted each of the past two seasons in Golden State.
Wiggins’ place in the Dubs’ starting lineup is safe at the moment, however. Head coach Steve Kerr said he has no intention of changing the starting five in light of Wiggins’ brutal shooting start, according to ESPN reporter Kendra Andrews.
Thompson’s numbers, meanwhile, aren’t as rough as Wiggins’, but they are rather pedestrian for Thompson’s standards. He’s shooting just 35% from deep, a cold start after one of his best shooting seasons ever in 2022-23. His short midrange percentage is down, too: this season, he’s shooting just 36% from 4 to 14 feet.
Saved by the 2nd Chance Buckets (for Now)
The Warriors are 6-4. Clearly, their shooting hasn’t been so woeful to turn them into an NBA bottom feeder. Plus, the Warriors have been trying to make up for their missed shots by crashing the boards and earning extra opportunities, which they are cashing in on often. They lead the NBA in second-chance points (18.2 per game).
Second-chance points often swing NBA games for one team or the other. It’s a statistic that can help remedy cold shooting — for a while, at least. Of course, the Warriors can’t rely on offensive rebounding (which they are fourth in the league in, securing 13.4 OREB a game) and second-chance points all season long. With how random offensive rebounding can be, the Dubs’ tenacity on the boards is nice to see, but isn’t a solution to their shooting problems.
It’s not time to panic yet. This team has been elite offensively for over a decade now, and slumps are always going to occur — especially at the start of seasons. But Golden State’s shooting prowess — or, this year, lack thereof — is still worth monitoring as the season unfolds. The Warriors’ ceiling as a team is probably much lower if they’re not shooting threes at an elite level.