How to be defending champion, post more than 80% of victories at home (29-7) and be only 7th in his conference? Answer with the Warriors: having won only 7 out of 35 games away from the Chase Center…
As The Ringer explains, the double face displayed by the troop of Stephen Curry is truly astonishing, especially since the advantage of the field tends to decrease in the regular season in the NBA over the decades. However, this season, the Warriors are completely different, when they play at home or away.
An opposing address that varies inexplicably
At Chase Center, they are thus the 14th attack (115.7 points scored on 100 possessions) but especially the 3rd defense (108.0 points against 100 possessions). Only the Grizzlies and Cavaliers are stronger defensively in their room. On the outside, the Warriors are almost at the same level in attack, in 16th place (112.5). On the other hand, they have the 28th defense far from their bases (119.6), only the Spurs and the Rockets doing worse…
The difference seems to be in the external address of the opponents. At Chase Center, Golden State maintains its opponents at 32.4% success rate by far, the best mark in the league. On the outside, the opponents’ 3-point address climbs to 40.8%, which is the 29th mark, only the Spurs being behind!
What is strange is that the areas of opposing shots, their frequency or the level of challenge are similar and it is therefore very difficult to put your finger on the problems of the Warriors.
Like everyone else, Steve Kerr has noticed a difference in intensity among his players, at home and away, but it does not explain the enormous difference in success of the opponents because the 8.4 percentage points are almost the double that of the Grizzlies (4.6), Nuggets (3.8), Hornets (3.6) and Spurs (3.6), who are behind. On average, the address difference is only 1.3 percentage points.
The more numerous absences of Draymond Green, Donte DiVincenzo or Klay Thompson on the outside can play a role, but they don’t explain everything either. Finally, The Ringer wonders if the Warriors are not simply victims of a big lack of luck, with particularly skilful adversaries facing them?
A monumental difference
In any case, few teams have shown such a difference between record at home (80.6%) and away (20%) in the same season. In all of history, there are only nine such, and only two in the modern era, since the introduction of 3-point shooting in the NBA in 1979.
These are the 2020/21 Sixers who, before entering the “bubble”, were almost invincible at home (29-2) but very fragile outside (10-24) and Doug’s Nuggets Moe in 1988/89, also extremely difficult to take in Colorado (35-6) but who traveled very badly (9-32).
If we represent all the balance sheets in the NBA since the introduction of the 3-pointer in 1979, we see that the teams overall win a third of games less outside. We also see that it is extremely rare for a team to have a better away record (above the blue line) than at home.
And we finally see that the 2022/23 Warriors are in an area where very, very few teams have found themselves…