The Golden State Warriors are arguably the most talented team in basketball. This roster is littered with shooters, passers, and finishers from all levels of the floor, and topped off by a player who poses a more unceasing and all-encompassing threat to defenses than any other.
But gifts alone aren’t enough. While there are indeed individuals good enough to thrive running any scheme, teams are different. It’s a coach’s job to put his players in the best position to succeed, and the Warriors hadn’t been before Steve Kerr’s arrival last summer. There’s more to Golden State’s new offensive proficiency than a coaching change alone, of course. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green made major strides over the offseason and Steph Curry took his already unmatched exploits to uncharted historical territories.
It’s possible such developments were inevitable. Those guys are marquee players for a reason, after all. Watching film of Golden State from 2013-2014 compared to this year, though, makes it impossible to ignore the supreme influence of Kerr, lead assistant Alvin Gentry, and the Warriors’ coaching staff. Their team’s jump from a merely solid offensive outfit to the league’s second-best in 2014-2015 was certainly about player progress, but just as surely ushered in by a strategy that placed ball and player movement at the forefront of Golden State’s core offensive philosophies.