Perhaps no team has been more impressive than the Golden State Warriors so far this season.
Golden State has jumped out to a 13-2 start with a point differential of + 10.6 points per game, which ranks second in the league behind the Toronto Raptors.
But unlike the Raptors, the Warriors have to play in the dreaded Western Conference. The West is chalk full of tough teams, making the Warriors’ 13-2 start even that much more impressive.
Also, the Warriors are winning on the road.
Already, Golden State has beaten formidable squads such as the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat away from California.
The Warriors are doing all of this winning through balanced play. While Golden State is known for its offensive firepower, they are much more than just a scoring machine.
Anchored by elite rim protector Andrew Bogut, the Warriors have been a defensive juggernaut. Golden State ranks first in defensive efficiency, allowing just 98 points per 100 possessions.
In the NBA, defense wins championships. Only one team in the past 15 years (2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers) has won a title without a top-10 defense. As long as Golden State continues to play at this level on the defensive end, no one’s going to want to face them come playoff time.
The Warriors also rank 10th in offensive efficiency, scoring 108.6 points per 100 possessions. Steph Curry’s ascension to MVP status and Klay Thompson’s continued growth has this team rolling offensively.
It’s still early and the Warriors have a lot to prove. But there’s no denying that the Warriors have entered the conversation of the best teams in the NBA.