When the Warriors were amid their dynastic run that saw the team win three championships in five seasons, their overwhelming offense with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and eventually Kevin Durant was too much for any opposing defense to handle.
After two seasons without a playoff appearance, it has been the Warriors' defense that has vaulted them into the upper echelon of the Western Conference through the first few weeks of the season. The Warriors' defensive rating now ranks first in the NBA after Wednesday night's win over the Charlotte Hornets.
No team in the NBA has been below a 98 defensive rating on NBA.com since 2011-12, when both the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a 97.5 rating. Per StatMuse, the Warriors' 97.8 defensive rating is the lowest the league has seen since the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons.
It appears Basketball-Reference and NBA.com use slightly different formulas for calculating defensive rating, but the point nevertheless stands that this Warriors' defense is on pace to be one of the league's best of the 21st century.
The Warriors' scoring defense ranks sixth in the NBA (101.6 points per game). The strong defensive numbers could continue to improve as the Warriors still have five games remaining on their lengthy homestand, four of which did not qualify for the playoffs a year ago.
Even without that overpowering offense, the Warriors have found a way to win games by locking down on the defensive end.
Eventually re-inserting James Wiseman and Klay Thompson into the rotation should help that excellent defense get even better over the course of the season.