Breaking Down The 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors


This was an attempt at a basic blog article that I tried writing as a sample for my club after my first semester at Berkeley.

When I was starting my club, I wanted to offer members a way to have a sample of what sports data journalism would look like. So I created this. It’s not great, but I like to think I’ve learned since then and it’s neat to look back on this every so often. My data skills had certainly imporved since then, as when I wrote this, I had never written a line of code. Anyway, enjoy :)

Breaking Down The 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors

nyone who has been following the National Basketball Association over the 2015-2016 season is aware of how well the Golden State Warriors have been playing. If the team keeps up their current pace, they are on track to finish with seventy-four wins, the highest ever total for a professional basketball team since single-season statistics began being kept in the 1946-47 season.

The obvious reason for the team’s success is point guard Stephen Curry. Curry, in the midst of a career-best year, is putting up legendary numbers. His effective field-goal percentage, a metric that adjusts for the fact that a three-point shot is worth fifty percent more than a two-point one, is one-hundred five percent higher than Michael Jordan’s during his best season in the NBA.

His player efficiency rating, a measure of Curry’s per minute production, is coming at more than double what the league’s average is. His rating is 214% higher than the NBA average. This essentially means that he is more than twice as statistically efficient as the average NBA player.

Additionally, Curry has made one-hundred ninety-three three pointers. Through half of the season, Curry has already made more threes than most NBA players make in a single season. In fact, his efforts put him in the top 75 of the most three pointers made in a single season by any player. At his current rate, he is on track to break his own single-season NBA record for most three-pointers made by one-hundred. He is set to score 135% more threes than he did last season.

However, the team’s success cannot be fully attributed to the one player. Nine players on the roster are contributing positive scores towards the team’s win total over what a replacement-level player would, meaning that most of the team’s rotation players are helping them to win games. Comparatively, the Philadelphia 76ers, who are the midst of a very poor season, have ten players who are negatively affecting the team’s win total relative to what a replacement level player would do.

The team is currently in the top three of nine major statistics including field goal percentage, three-pointer percentage, total rebounds, assists and points, and is fourth in the league in blocks. In fact, an average game for the team sees them score about 114.3 points, with 28.7 assists, 46.5 rebounds, 6.5 blocks and win by an average of about 12 points. These are amazing numbers for a single team in a single season.

The Warriors are having a phenomenal season and will likely cap it with a deep playoff run. Behind Steph Curry, it certainly appears that the Warriors are going to remain unstoppable. Any casual viewer could definitely see a potential second straight championship in their future.

All facts are from http://www.basketball-reference.com/.

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