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5. GOLDEN STATE
Stephen Curry is a man who should not be crossed, averaging 21.9 points per game in the last 10 games, third-best among NBA point guards. The success spreads to the Warriors’ whole backcourt, which is in the NBA’s top five in efficiency and scoring per 40 minutes. The continued injury-rehab cycle of Andrew Bogut has thrown the Warriors’ bench into a mess, however, forcing rookie Festus Ezeli to start 31 games and leaving the reserves just undersized Carl Landry to fill the role of a big man unafraid to play strong down low (Andris Biedrins is not that player).
Landry is a bright spot, grabbing 6.5 boards per game on a reserves unit that collects the most defensive rebounds per 48 minutes and holds its opponents to one of the lowest averages, as well. Still the Warriors give up the fourth-most points per 48 minutes, with 19.1 and outside of Landry and Jarrett Jack, few options exist for the Warriors to choose from if they want offense from their reserves. One positive is that although the W’s are third-worst in shooting three-pointers, their reserves realize it and curb their attempts from deep, shooting the fewest per 40 minutes of any bench.