Are the Golden State Warriors the best passing team in the NBA?
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle recently asked Mark Jackson, Andrew Bogut, Jermaine O’Neal, and Steve Blake that question, and they all had similar answers.
Coach Mark Jackson, past master of the assist, answered my true-false question with, “I would probably say, off the top of my head, true, because we have playmakers and good to very good to excellent passers.
Bogut answered “true,” with a caveat: “I think we are (the best passing team), but our hindrance is turnovers. … The asterisk you would put next to that is we’ve got to limit our turnovers to be the best passing team in the league.”
Steve Blake answered the T-F question, “Quite possibly. … That’s a big part of what we do. We’ve got certain guys we need to be aggressive at times and just go one-on-one. But at the right moments, guys are making really good passes.”
So enjoy it while you’ve got it, Warriors fans, because as O’Neal said, “It’s rare in professional sports that you get a team that likes each other and is very unselfish. Basketball can really become a very individualized sport within a team system. You see that a lot on some teams, but for us it’s about making the extra play, making the extra pass.”
Ostler brings up an excellent point in the article that O’Neal touched upon also. The Warriors’ excellent passing could be partially attributed to their elite team chemistry.
They all want to win badly, and that brings them closer to together. That underdog mentality and that never-say-die attitude breeds excellent team chemistry, which can take a team far.
So what makes the Warriors such a good passing team?
Well, first of all, all five of their starters are arguably elite passers, for their position.
Stephen Curry is a creative, crafty passer who can pass well with either hand, Klay Thompson is a great passer out of pick-and-rolls, Andre Iguodala is also a creative passer who creates plays and can drive-and-kick, David Lee has great anticipation of what his teammate is going to do and when and how he should pass the ball to them, and Bogut, for a center, also has great timing and anticipation as a passer.
Read more about the Warriors’ passing and check out some advanced passing stats in the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.