Warriors

Warriors play at their best when these statistical trends occur

Warriors play at their best when these statistical trends occur

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

How many times have you heard these statements?

"The Warriors are at their best when they take of the ball."... "The Warriors need to shoot more 3s" ... "It's important for the Warriors to get out in transition"

I'm guessing you have heard them quite a bit. But are there statistics to show that they are true? Let's take a look at some key statistical indicators that show when the Warriors are at their best.

The Warriors are 27-2 this season when they have an assist-to-turnover ratio over 2.2 assists to every one turnover

There it is -- the Warriors truly are better when they take care of the ball. It has been well chronicled that the Warriors have games where they become careless and even a bit reckless with their passes, leading to high turnover totals. And yet, the Warriors STILL lead the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.13 assists to every turnover.

The biggest reason for that impressive ratio is their historically high assists totals since Steve Kerr installed his offense five years ago. With the high volume of passes, ball movement, and assists, naturally, turnovers will come as well. But when the Warriors find a way to do a little better than their season average and boost their assist-to-turnover ratio by a small margin of 0.9, all of a sudden they are practically unbeatable. 

Warriors are 31-1 this season when they shoot 40 percent or better from three-point land
Warriors are 12-3 this season when they attempt 40 or more three-pointers
Warriors are 7-15 this season when 57.5 percent or more of their total points are made off 2-point field goals

Here is the part that many Warriors fans fuss about. The Warriors have arguably the two best three-point shooters of all time on their team, so why don't they shoot from deep more often?

Well, these stats should just make the clamoring grow louder.

The Warriors rank third in the NBA in three-point percentage at 38.3 percent. So when the Warriors simply shoot 2 percent better from deep than their season average, yet again they are practically unbeatable. 

Every game has a different feel and each opponent's defensive strategy will dictate the way in which the Warriors will attack with the ball. If the opponent is sending defenders aggressively towards the three-point line, then it would make sense for the Warriors to exploit them in the paint.

However, as the stats show, when the Warriors shoot a high-volume of three-point field goals, they become very hard to beat. When the Warriors make a majority of their points from two-point range, it usually means they have struggled shooting the ball from deep, and therefore they are a much lesser team. 

While the team does not "live or die" by the three-point shot, the Warriors are nearly immortal when they are hitting their shots from deep

Warriors are 27-5 this season when they score 20 or more fast break points
Warriors are 26-0 this season when they have an effective field goal percentage over 59 percent (EFG % explained here)

When the Warriors get into transition and push the pace, they are at their best. The Warriors are tied for second in the NBA in fast-break points at 19.1 per game, so yet again, when the Warriors play just a bit better than their average, they become a dominant force.

The reason I included the effective field goal percentage statistic was to show that the team does not only become more efficient when hitting their three-point shots. Their field goal percentage rises considerably when in transition and getting easy uncontested baskets, which therefore raises their effective field goal percentage.

[RELATED: Steph explains how decision to wear contacts happened]

Warriors are 17-2 this season when they attempt 25 or more free throws

It is hard to draw fouls when a team completely lives behind the three-point line. That is why it is always important for the Warriors to stay aggressive and attack the rim as well.

The more the Warriors push the pace and force the defense to scramble, the more fouls they will draw. The team is fifth in the NBA in free throw percentage at 80 percent, so when they get to the line, they rack up a lot of free points.

It is no wonder that the Warriors are very hard to beat when they constantly go to the charity stripe. 

NBA rumors: Pelicans agree to trade All-Star Anthony Davis to Lakers

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USATSI

NBA rumors: Pelicans agree to trade All-Star Anthony Davis to Lakers

Anthony Davis is on his way to LA.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to the All-Star center to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.

This story is being updated.

Doctor, trainer explain how Kevin Durant will be affected by Achilles injury

Doctor, trainer explain how Kevin Durant will be affected by Achilles injury

He drains 3-pointers. He soars for slam dunks. He crosses you up. And he swats your shot. 

Kevin Durant can do it all. The question now is, will he still be able to do it all once he returns from a ruptured right Achilles tendon? 

"I think you're going to likely see at least a step back," Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer who analyzes injury trends at InStreetClothes.com, told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "At least, that's what the studies show—that there is going to be a dip in productivity."

The Warriors star forward suffered the injury after playing just under 12 minutes in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The injury occurred over a month after Durant sustaining a strained right calf. Prior to the injuries, KD was performing like the best basketball player on the planet. 

Durant played in 78 of the Warriors' 82 regular-season games, where he averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds and a career-high 5.9 assists per game. He was even better in the playoffs. Including the two games he got hurt in, Durant averaged 32.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in the playoffs while shooting over 50 percent from the field, over 40 percent from 3-point range and over 90 percent from the free throw line. 

He was simply spectacular. Will we ever see that version again? 

"It's hard to return to an elite level of play following that type of injury," Stotts said, "especially in basketball, with the constant, sudden, start-stop jumping motion that the calf and the Achilles are critical and vital to."

Instead of driving to the hole, dribbling to find his spot for a mid-range jump shot and leaping for rebounds, Durant might turn into more of a spot-up shooter. He did make all three of his 3-point attempts in his first game back from his calf strain before injuring his Achilles. 

It's likely he'll have to play less regular-season games for the rest of his career, too. 

"He's not going to be an 82-game-a-year guy," a doctor working for another NBA team outside of the Warriors told Beck. "I always say that they can be the same player in smaller doses. So, fewer minutes, fewer games. You will see flashes. The sustained greatness is really, really tough.

"[Durant] can still be a really, really great player. But it's going to be in 28 minutes, and it's going to be not in back-to-backs. And it's going to be saving himself for the playoffs."

Durant will miss the entire 2019-20 season while rehabbing. He turns 31 in September and will be 32 when we're first expected to see him back on a basketball court. If that will be at Chase Center as a Warrior is the great unknown

[RELATED: Why Warriors won't walk away from Klay, KD despite injuries]

Despite his injury, the Warriors are expected to still offer Druant a max contract worth $221 million over five seasons when he becomes a free agent on June 30. Whether he's a Warrior or not, however, he'll likely look different as a player. 

When Durant announced his successful Achilles surgery, he said on Instagram, "It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I'm a hooper." There's no doubt Durant will hoop again, no matter what version of himself we see.

Sadly, he might not be the same superstar.