The Warriors have put up some crazy good numbers on offense this season, some of which actually mean something, and here are a few fun facts that will make you go even more wow.
In nearly half (12) of their 26 games, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined to sink more than half of their field goal tries. In another seven, they shot between 45 and 50 percent. In only three were they below the 40 percent mark — and their team won one of them and lost another in double overtime.
Is that cold-blooded consistency or what?
So the next time you get all nervous about defensive lapses or that Zaza guy in the middle, Dubs Nation, remember that no team in NBA history has had this many Hall of Fame shotmakers at one time.
Sure, the Warriors will have to show a pulse at the other end, especially in the postseason when whistles are seldom heard. But they’re a respectable 10th in points per possession (1.03) league-wide. That’s plenty good enough to win the race.
When a team boasts the greatest long-distance sniper in history, one of the greatest all-purpose shooters ever and a third guy who can light it up on any given night, it can defy the truism that defense wins championships. Durant (125) and Curry (122) are among the league leaders in offensive rating, which is unheard of for two volume shooters on the same team. It comes as no surprise then that the Warriors rank second in points per possession (1.14) and their .605 true shooting percentage is far ahead of the pack.
The Big Shooters make this team practically slump proof. One could have a bad game. Two could have a bad game. Every few weeks, even three could have a bad game. But could all of them have clunkers four times in a best-of-seven series? Ball don’t lie.
WAKE US WHEN IT’S OVER: The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t bother to take Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love on their trip to Memphis on Wednesday. And Balls will take the next few hundred meaningless regular-season games off, too.
SO LONG, EVERYBODY: Give up the dream, Oakland. Ain’t happenin’.
Give Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott a pat on the back for his goal-line stand to keep the Raiders in town, but his stadium plan sounds a lot like Floyd Kephart’s and we know how that turned out. Simply put, the NFL wants no part of the financial burden. Or third parties, for that matter.
The prospects for a new stadium are no better than they were 13 years ago, when the Silver and Black made their last Super Bowl appearance. As much as the league doesn’t like to move franchises, the Las Vegas Raiders make more dollars and sense every day.
“It’s a big enough market and it’s a different market than Oakland,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said about Sin City at the winter league meetings on Wednesday. “There is a real want and real enthusiasm from the powers that be that run that state to have an NFL team there, and that goes a long way.”
Indeed, Oakland has a far more urgent problems at the moment.
JIVE TALKIN’: The NFL could use a venom-spewing, throat-wringing coaches’ rivalry to give it some juice, and Balls can’t think of a better spit disturber than Jim Harbaugh to do it.
While Harbaugh prepares his Michigan team for the Orange Bowl, his name has been linked to the Los Angeles Rams, who recently fired Jeff Fisher a few years too late. Can you imagine Mr. Khakis and mortal enemies Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Santa Clara CEO Jed York in the same division? Even the news conferences would be must-hear television.
Harbaugh dismissed the speculation as “NFL lies” perpetuated by three college coaches for recruitment purposes. Or “jive turkeys,” as he called them.
Maybe so, but at some point, Harbaugh is sure to get bored with the college routine. For the NFL and its lame TV ratings, it can’t happen soon enough.
JUST SAYIN’: The Sharks have been told to add Brent Burns’ beard as an upper-body ecosystem on their injury report.
Los Angeles Lakers lunkhead Metta World Peace predicts coach Luke Walton will be in the Hall of Fame one day. To already win 10 games with that bunch, he should be inducted this weekend.
The Los Angeles Dodgers spent a mere $210 million to re-sign Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, and boy, it sure is nice to see the new labor agreement in midseason form.
Santa Clara volunteered to play overseas next season, but London feared that coach Chip Kelly would burn too many bridges.
Two months after Aaron Lynch said his Santa Clara team was among the best in the league, he “hasn’t changed [his mind] at all.” So, yeah, it’s time for the NFL have concussion spotters off the field as well.
THE LIST: Sure-miss picks against the spread for Week 15 of the NFL season …
Green Bay Packers (-7) at Chicago Bears.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-16).
Santa Clara at Atlanta Falcons (-14).
Last week: 1-2. Season: 15-24 (.385).
YOUR TURN: “Here’s my unshakable, haven’t-been-proven-wrong yet axiom since the second year Jed York took over the Niners: Nothing good will ever happen as long as his family owns the team. General manager, quarterback — it won’t matter. They sealed the deal with the devil when they traded Alex Smith. I sure hope he gets a Super Bowl ring before he’s through.” — Marianne Smith, San Francisco
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