Tag Archives: Kirk Hinrich

Bulls Quarter Season Breakdown

We may be a hair more than a quarter through the Bulls season, but the (D)Roses and Thorns crew thought it to be an ideal time to check in on some of the biggest storylines and issues surrounding the team. At 14-8, the Bulls have notched a solid record, but below the surface plenty of problems lurk. Without further ado, let’s take a deep dive.

–Jake Weiner

butler rose fred

Hoiball in Name Only? — Jacob Bikshorn

When coach Fred Hoiberg was hired to revamp the vanilla offense, I envisioned the Bulls playing a style reminiscent of the Warriors or the 2014 Spurs. Coach Nick from BBallBreakdown had me salivating at the possibilities. The Bulls boast two starting guards fully capable of running the pick and roll and enough shooters on the roster to facilitate an open style of offense.

A quarter of the season is behind us, and it’s time to wonder if the much ballyhooed offensive revolution will take place this year. The Bulls are currently only scoring 98 points per 100 possessions, the 27th lowest efficiency in the league! Only Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Kobe’s Lakers are lower. How is it possible that the Bulls, who ranked 10th in offensive efficiency a season ago, can be so bad with the exact same cast of characters?

Through twenty games, the offense has been stagnant, unimaginative, and very, very guardable. The offense ranks 15th in frequency of shots taken by a player who has held the ball six seconds or longer and has dribbled the ball seven or more times. They are 26th and 30th, respectively, in eFG%. The offense that was supposed to be predicated on fast action and unpredictability is disappointingly middle of the pack in the shots it should desperately try to avoid.

Unfortunately, there is a single culprit most responsible for these embarrassing trends and his name is Derrick Rose. The Bulls starting point guard, who sports a team high usage rate of 24.9%, has been one of the least efficient players in the NBA this season. His propensity to pound the rock before making any decisions is not doing anything to help.

As of Friday, Rose is attempting 3.6 shots per game where he has dribbled seven or more times before the shot, the 15th highest average in the league. Of the 46 players to average two or more of these shots per game, Rose is dead last in eFG%. Rose shoots the ball 4.2 times per game after holding it for six seconds or longer, again the 15th highest average in the league. He’s 52/53 in eFG% on those shots (minimum two attempts).

The argument could be made that the majority of these shots are drives to the basket that produce foul shots, a category not factored into eFG%. But Rose on the season has a free throw rate of just .168, the lowest rate of his career. Rose is one of just five players to use up 23% of his teams’ possessions and have a FTr below .170.

Rose should continue to play aggressively and attack the basket often. He just needs to do it in the natural flow of the offense. If and when Rose figures this out, he’ll be able to attack defenses before they can react and recover to the action that precedes the drive. But until then, this offense isn’t getting any better.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.56.25 PM

Strengh of Schedule — Jared Wyllys

Through the first quarter of the season, the Bulls have been a perplexing mix of mediocre on the floor and somehow managing to win 14 games and sit just one game behind Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. Before Monday’s matchup with Philadelphia, the Bulls have a strength of schedule rating that is below just a handful of teams (New Orleans, Memphis, Sacramento, Brooklyn, and they are tied with Charlotte), and their RPI is third in the NBA (take a look here).

Coming up in the next quarter of the season, the Bulls will see the Warriors once, on January 20th and they have eight games against teams who currently have more wins than they do. While this upcoming stretch of 20 or 21 games might seem like it will be relatively easy, games against the likes of Oklahoma City, Dallas, Indiana, Detroit, and Boston spell the possibility for the Bulls to lose a lot of ground in the standings.

Whatever the case, the Bulls are a team that is finding its identity, largely due to a new coach in Fred Hoiberg who is operating with players who have spent years under Tom Thibodeau’s leadership, so transitioning can be quite difficult. I suspect that it will be a season or two before we see what a Hoiberg Bulls team will really look like. In the rest of this season, it is hard not to expect them to falter at least somewhat.

Capture

Reading the Lineup Combo Tea Leaves — Drew Hackman

It’s no secret that the Bulls haven’t had success offensively this season, at 27th in offensive efficiency. Mainstream thought is that Hoiberg has been searching desperately for something that works, but is there truth to this?

Hoiberg has utilized just 120 different 5-man lineups, the third-lowest number of lineup combinations in the league, with the average at 170. So what’s the hold up – why hasn’t he tried more? A few answers to this:

  1. The Bulls have been relatively healthy. With Mike Dunleavy out through this point in the season, and with a healthy roster, Hoiberg hasn’t had to insert as many strange combinations as other teams.
  2. Pau Gasol has been promised minutes (rumor has it), and Jimmy Butler almost *has* to play 40 minutes per game to keep the Bulls in contention in most games, eliminating a large number of potential combinations.
  3. There’s no correlation between a team’s win percentage and the number of lineups they throw out there – whether the Bulls have been winning or losing games would seem to have no impact to speak of on how many different combinations the coaching staff will choose to use. They will implement whichever lineups they think work best based on matchups and cohesion:

NBA Lineup Correlation

When the lineup data is filtered for greater than or equal to five games played and averaging more than three minutes per game (we’ll call this High Use Lineups or HUL), the data gets a little more telling. The Bulls are tied for the sixth-highest number of lineup combinations, at ten, under the HUL model. Although there still seems to be no correlation between win percentage and number of HULs, the HUL model would indicate that the Hoiberg staff is trying to find something that sticks, which tells a different story than the initial look at the unfiltered data might indicate.

HUL Lineup Combos

So which lineups have given the Bulls the most success, and which have hurt them? How do the dynamics change when you add or subtract a key player, and what can we expect to see from the Bulls going forward? Let’s take a look, using the HUL model:

  • The best 5-man lineup – Hinrich/Butler/McDermott/Gibson/Noah, averaging +1.8 ppg. Substitute Moore in for Butler, and this yields the worst lineup, averaging -2.2 ppg. It may be no coincidence that Moore hasn’t seen much playing time lately.
  • Another successful lineup relative to the mean has been Rose/Butler/McDermott/Mirotic/Gasol, at +0.7ppg – by most standards, this is not a significant margin, but this is the second best 5-man lineup the Bulls have tried (yikes).
  • When looking at 3- and 2-man combinations, Gibson/Mirotic/Snell, Gibson/Gasol/Brooks, Brooks/Gasol, Brooks/Butler, and Gibson/Mirotic have the honors at +4.3, +3.4, +3.0, +2.8, +2.6, respectively. Part of the reason Butler will not show up in more of these high-end lists is due to his high usage rate, forced to play with most lineups, even those that perform poorly.

Over the last nine games, the Bulls have had a healthy dose of Butler/Gasol/Gibson/Rose/Snell, and the same lineup substituting Mirotic for Gibson. Combined, these two lineups are -0.7; we may not see as much of this in the future. Instead, I expect to see more of what we saw Saturday night against the Pelicans and Monday vs. Philly: more Noah, more Brooks, more McDermott.

Noah Duncan

The Mysterious Case of Joakim Noah — Jason Schwartz

Coming into this season, Bulls fans hoped an offseason of rest would rejuvenate Joakim Noah to get him back towards his Defensive Player of the Year, fourth in MVP voting ways. After watching Noah hobble through the playoffs last year, this Bulls team knew it needed more coming into this season from its heart and soul. At the quarter-pole of this season, fans and management alike are still searching for that man.

Unfortunately, for much of the year Noah has looked anything but rejuvenated as father time doesn’t appear to be on his side. Noah has not started a game and is averaging a career-low 3.8 points per game. While his numbers are horrid, Noah still remains a very influential Bulls player.

Noah is the most vocal leader on this team, and it is often his hustle that sparks and re-energizes them. To illustrate the importance of an effective Noah, one need not look further than his performance in wins vs. losses. Going into Monday, in wins, Noah is averaging 23 minutes per game, 45% shooting, and 10 rebounds per game. Compare that to 19 MPG, 20% shooting, and 6 RPG in losses and it is evident that this Bulls team needs Noah to be on the court and effective to be at its best.

The problem has been who to play Joakim Noah with in the front-court. When he plays with Pau Gasol, you have two big guys who clog up the lane which creates poor spacing. When Noah matches up with Gibson, the Bulls are stuck with two defensive minded big men who both struggle to score. A recent lineup shakeup now has Noah matched up with Niko Mirotic off the bench, a promising development.

Noah is set to become a free agent at the end of this year and is currently making over $13 million a year. While he certainly won’t make that kind of money in free agency the Bulls have a decision to make. Noah makes the Bulls’ motor run, but is a 31-year-old center with a history of injuries and a lack of offensive ability worth bringing back?

BPtime

Three Reasons to #FreeBobbyPortis –Tyler Geocaris

The Bullies have been frustrating in the first quarter of this season, it doesn’t take an expert analyst to tell you that. Coming into the season with such high expectations, I did not think they would produce such a lackluster effort on a nightly basis. As the season goes by, it’s starting to become quite difficult to watch them without breaking something in the room. After the games where the Bulls just decide not to show up, I always find myself screaming at Freddy Hoiberg through the TV, “WHY WON’T YOU PLAY MY BOY BOBBY PORTIS!”

Before I wrote this, I looked up Bobby’s stats this season. Going into Monday’s game, Fred has played Portis a whopping 22 MINUTES……THE ENTIRE SEASON! Personally, I find this stat quite mind boggling simply because there were moments where we could have actually used Crazy Eyes out there for brief stints. Below are my three reasons why the Bulls need to start giving Portis some tick:

Instant Spark

As you could see in the preseason, much of Portis’s success came from hustling and being a maniac. He was all over the court, grabbing rebounds, diving on the floor, keeping possessions alive, and most of all just giving the team much needed energy. There have been too many instances where the Bulls have started a game flat or have had in their in-game lulls. These are perfect times to play BP!

Spread the Floor

Portis is by no means a marksman, but he has shown to at least be a respectable shooter in this league thus far. Since the defense is forced to respect his shot, driving opportunities will naturally occur for Rose and Butler, and even create space for Gasol to post up. With the disappointing start of Mirotic, Portis is even more deserving of some PT at the power forward spot. And not to mention, he is a very good free throw shooter.

Looking Ahead

This offseason, the Bulls could possibly lose two of their main big men due to free agency. With Jo in his contract year and Pau having the ability to exercise his player option, the currently log jammed Chicago frontcourt could become suddenly wide open. In the event we lose one or both of these veterans, the Bulls need to get an idea of what type of player they are going to get out of Portis, and the only way to do that is to get him out on the court. If Bobby can show flashes his rookie season, the Bulls can then pass on overpaying Noah and won’t feel bad if Pau decides to walk away from the team. This obviously creates more flexibility for the Bulls moving forward giving Gar Forman and John Paxson a lot more cap space to work with.

Now I’m not asking for Bobby to get significant playing time, I would just like to see him at least crack the rotation. It can only have a positive effect on the organization, in both the long and short term. But in order to reap these benefits, Fred must simply #FreeBobbyPortis.

 

BULLet Points: Pacers dominate Bulls to end circus trip

  • The Bulls got off to a quick start, but Indiana adjusted fast and took control of the game, ultimately winning 104-92. The Bulls never really made it that interesting.
  • Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose each had forgettable nights, with Rose in particular continuing to struggle badly. He was 4/16 from the field for 10 points with six rebounds and five assists. He’s now shooting 36.3% this season and 21.4% from long range. Rose has converted only 44.7% within three feet and 30% from 3-10 feet out. Hopefully a lot of issues are coming from the mask and vision problems, but this version of Rose is not a starting point guard in the NBA. The Bulls need a turnaround fast.
  • Butler finished with 16 points, five rebounds and five dimes but he struggled to make an impact for long stretches of the game. Paul George–back and better than ever–mostly had his way against Butler, finishing with 33 points and eight boards. After the game, Jimmy acknowledged that he’s playing through a lower leg injury of unknown severity. It’s extremely discouraging that the Bulls are apparently mishandling injuries once again, seeing as Butler is currently third in the NBA in minutes per game. #Pray4Jimmy
  • Pau Gasol could not handle Indiana’s new smallball identity. The Pacers started CJ Miles and Paul George at the forward spots and operate with tons of floor space due to the amount of shooting around the perimeter. Gasol was constantly too slow to hit his rotations and overwhelmed offensively, finishing 4/16 from the field. His offensive effectiveness is dwindling while the NBA’s move toward small lineups and flexibility makes Gasol even more of a liability some nights. The Bulls need to bring him off the bench, where he can regain some efficiency by taking on reserve bigs in the post.

  • Niko Mirotic was the best player for Chicago and his potential is really magnified against teams that like to play small. With Paul George guarding Butler, CJ Miles was forced to match up with Mirotic. Niko constantly kept Miles off guard with his unique blend of quick shots, pump fakes, and goofy drives that somehow often end in free throws. Mirotic has had major struggles with his shot and consistency this season, but the Bulls can only be their best when his skills are emphasized. Hoiberg needs to be more aggressive about keeping Niko on the floor when other teams try to win by going small. He finished with 25 points and seven boards in 29 minutes and a plus/minus of -4. The Bulls were -8 in the 19 minutes he sat.
  • Kirk Hinrich continued to play pretty well, adding 11 points and two assists off the bench in 22 minutes. The Bulls were +4 in his minutes and sadly may be a better team with him at point guard over Rose at the moment.
  • CJ Miles went nuts in the first half with 16 points but was shut down afterward. He’s had a nice stretch playing next to George in Indiana’s small system. Lavoy Allen added 12 and 10 off the bench as the Bulls bigs were simply too slow to keep up with his activity. None of the Chicago frontcourt is playing good defense right now.
  • Indiana may have stumbled onto something pretty solid with their new identity. They’ve won 10 of 12 and Paul George looks every bit as good, if not better, as he did in 2013-14. Much ado was made about George being hesitant to bang with big men as a power forward, but Indiana has smartly used him as both a wing and a big. He’s too good of a perimeter defender to abandon that ability, as the Bulls saw firsthand with George guarding Jimmy.
  • Coming up: the Bulls return home to take on the surging San Antonio Spurs.

BULLet Points: Bulls get first win in Portland since 2007

The Bulls came into Tuesday night’s game having not won a game in Portland since 2007. Fortunately, they were facing a Blazers team that no longer has the benefit of superstar LaMarcus Aldridge, who went to San Antonio this past off-season. Portland sorely missed Aldridge down the stretch, when C.J. McCollum was the guy left trying to be the game-tying hero in the final seconds against a stout defender in Joakim Noah. The Bulls hung on at the end to improve to 9-4; here are the BULLets:

  • The Bulls got off to a great 10-0 start with quick ball movement to generate open looks, often utilizing the now-standard dribble hand-off weave to create action, and taking advantage of a Portland team that looked lost on defense in the opening minutes. They pushed the ball in transition and even on made baskets, forcing the Blazers on their heels for much of the game, as the Bulls led from start to finish, for once turning the Trailblazers into the Trailing Blazers on their home court (terrible, I know).
  • Offense: Joakim Noah did some work in the post on two consecutive possessions, one from the right side, which isn’t his preferred method of attack, and he hit his first jump shot of the year, a 20-footer. He was also active on the boards, with a final stat line of seven points and six rebounds in 20 minutes. If Jo can be even an occasional threat on offense, it will bring another dynamic that was non-existent and severely hampering during last season, as it would force the defense to pay a little attention to him and open up opportunities for the likes of Butler and Rose, who combined for 39 points, on 13/33 shooting and a +/- of 12 when paired together, the highest of any pairing of the night.
  • Niko got his three-ball game going, shooting 3/4 from long range, and 4/8 overall for 13 points. The most glaring improvement he needs is to go up stronger near the basket and get rid of the wacky-waving-inflatable-arms-flailing-tube man act, which rarely yields a call from officials.
  • After Kirk’s impressive retro performance against Golden State last week, he was mostly back to his old-new self in this one. I’m just gonna leave this right here, taken from the Game Book: Hinrich Miss
  • Defense: Overall, the Bulls have limited opponents to 40.9% shooting from the field, second best in the league, but give up 33.9% on 3-pointers, just 12th in the NBA for a team that historically has been much better at limiting threes. Against the Blazers, the Bulls continued to struggle with closing out on shooters and leaving men for open looks (*cough* Niko). With the exception of Butler (always), Snell (usually), and Moore (sometimes), the whole team needs to improve in this area. Luckily, for the Bulls, the Blazers missed open looks and only shot 6/22 from beyond the arc. Derrick’s PnR defense left something to be desired for the first part of the game, going over screens clumsily and often trailing the ball-handler, and even failing to stay in front of his man on one-on-one matchups (granted, this is Damian Lillard we’re talking about).
  • Doug McDermott had a rare moment of good one-on-one post defense where he didn’t fall over, commit a foul, or defend the ball-handler while standing out of bounds baseline (yes, this happened), but it’s depressingly remarkable that I’m commenting on the one time he didn’t screw up on defense.
  • Jimmy Butler was his normal superstar self posting 22 points on 6/13 from the field and 8/8 from the line, with four assists and four steals. He’s been so good the last couple years, that writing about his game-to-game performances doesn’t even seem like news anymore, and this is an incredible thing to take for granted. He has blossomed into easily the Bulls best and most reliable player on both ends – scoring, defending (team and individual lock-down), IQ/playmaking, rebounding, and just being an overall game-stopping badass. I could write an article on his badassery, but instead, click here for an awesome link by Chris Terzic at Blog-A-Bull about how Jimmy has single-handily kept this Bulls franchise in the conversation as contenders.
  • The Blazers are struggling this year, now 6-10 on the year, but still have some bright spots. Namely, Damian Lillard, who has well-established himself as a star; he was flirting with a triple-double (19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) but on 4/22 shooting and missing all six three-point attempts. CJ McCollum is also a reliable guard, the Lehigh University grad responsible for toppling number two seed Duke as a 15 seed in 2012 when he scored 30 of their 75 points. He continues to show his versatility on the scoring end in the NBA, posting 18 points last night, and averaging nearly 20 a game, along with three and a half rebounds and three assists.
  • Coming up: the Bulls finish the circus road trip in Indiana on Black Friday.

BULLet Points: Bulls fight valiantly, lose, against champion Warriors

The comparisons between the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls have started already, and although the season is not even a full month old, there is no question that Steph Curry’s Warriors are the toughest team to face in the NBA right now.  Especially when you have to meet them in Oakland. That said, the Bulls were pretty impressive, ultimately falling short in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and losing 106-94–a score that makes the game look much less close than it actually was. The Warriors won their 14th straight game to start the season, two off of the NBA record. Here’s a look at some of the key points from the matchup:

  • Kirk Hinrich showed flashes of his former self. He made Steph Curry’s life as hard as possible (he had a +/- of even in Friday’s game), and his 17 points came largely from an impressive 3/4 from the three point range. By no means do I expect that Hinrich has much left to offer this team, but he served up some timely scoring that could have been more beneficial had the Bulls been able to keep the game closer in the last four minutes of the game.
  • Derrick Rose sat out again. Rose sprained his ankle in Monday night’s game, and after sitting out on Wednesday night in Phoenix, he opted to stay out of Friday’s game as well, in spite of the chance to play against Curry. Given Rose’s history, I see no reason for him to push himself too far. The Bulls have surprised me a bit up to this point in the young season, and though I hate to get ahead of myself, I want Rose as healthy as possible for the last stretch of the season and even into the playoffs. I don’t’ know how much of a difference that Rose would have made against Golden State, but either way, I am ultimately happy with the decision to be cautious about how many minutes he spends on the floor after something like a sprained ankle.
  • I harped a bit on Nikola Mirotic’s shooting in Monday’s BULLet Points, and I would like to point out that he was 0/6 from three point range against Golden State. This makes him 20/64 on the season so far, and though he shot well from beyond the arc through the first four games of the season, that just has not been the case since then. Perhaps it’s time for him to spend less time shooting from deep. He did shoot 6/6 from the free throw line and grabbed 10 rebounds.
  • Bench play. Our bench players did not contribute at all like they needed to in a game like this one. The four players who came off the bench combined for just 15 points (by comparison, Golden State’s bench added 32 to their total), and this is with nine from E’Twuan Moore.
  • Joakim Noah on offense has gone from laughable to worrisome to problematic. He added no points off of the bench on Friday, making it the fifth time that’s happened this season. He often looks lost on offense and as if he does not know where he should be.
  • Jimmy Butler was unbelievable, pouring in 28 points, nine boards and seven assists. He was the best player on the floor for most of the night, often guarding the much bigger Draymond Green.
  • The Warriors are just seriously good. We didn’t see Stephen Curry’s best work on Friday night, but he still managed 27 points, four assists, four steals, and five rebounds. Hinrich held him to 3/11 from distance. The Warriors are now 14-0, and may well pose a real threat to the 72 wins of the 1995-96 Bulls.
  • In all, though the final score does not really reflect this, the game was much, much closer than a glance at the box score might indicate. I was genuinely impressed with the way that the Bulls kept this game very close and were not really out of this game until being outscored 29-21 in the 4th quarter. And even then, it was not until the last three or four minutes that Golden State really started to pull away and widen their lead behind the vaunted small lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. This game was within Chicago’s grasp until that group, +74 in 54 minutes this year, slammed the door.
  • Coming up: the Bulls continue their November “circus trip” and look to improve to 9-4 in Portland on Tuesday night.

 

BULLet Points: Butler’s 32 leads Bulls to victory in Phoenix

  • The Bulls got off to a fantastic start in this one,  at one point going up nearly 20 in the first half. Eric Bledsoe and the Suns made things interesting, but the Bulls led virtually the entire game en route to a 103-97 victory.
  • Jimmy Butler had a season-high 32 points and really took over late. He played the entire fourth quarter and a Thibs-ian 43 minutes. He finished with six rebounds, two assists and a steal on 11/23 shooting. He’s now averaging 20.4 points on the season with extremely similar shooting splits to last season’s breakout campaign.
  • With Derrick Rose out due to an ankle injury, Fred Hoiberg went with Kirk Hinrich as a starter. Captain Kirk (the #gritgod) came up big, scoring 14 points on absurd 6/7 shooting with six assists in 24 minutes. In classic Kirk fashion, though, this was his only missed shot:

  • Aaron Brooks had a solid 12 points and five dimes in 20 minutes off the bench, but he pulled his hamstring pretty badly and eventually had to leave the game. I don’t love that the Bulls brought Brooks back after he clearly suffered a fairly serious muscle pull; he had to leave the game again for good and is now out for tomorrow’s matchup with Golden State. The Bulls deserve credit for safely handling Rose’s ankle injury in game, but this was a mistake.
  • Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson both had good nights and once again closed the game together. Gasol scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 28 minutes while Gibson had six points and seven boards in 27 minutes. If Gibson is going to continue seeing crunchtime minutes over Niko Mirotic, you have to wonder if we’ll see another shake-up to the starting lineup soon. Seemingly everyone outside the Bulls organization is clamoring for Niko and Joakim Noah to play together, which could be easily managed by moving Gibson into the starting group.
  • Speaking of Mirotic, he continues to badly struggle on the offensive end. He went 4/12 with 10 points in 21 minutes, though he did knock down 2/5 from long range. His presence is still providing the Bulls with acres of floor space–most noticeable in his +6.9 on floor net rating. Opponents are struggling to figure out his game, falling for pump fakes and committing too many fouls. Soon, though, teams will figure his shtick out if the shots aren’t falling consistently. Mirotic’s value is derived from his ability to stretch the floor from a frontcourt position; I’m starting to worry that his highly unconventional shot mechanics may never yield a consistent shooter.
  • Doug McDermott had a pretty solid game off the bench, adding eight points and a +5 in 25 minutes. He also provided the funniest highlight of the game:

  • While Tony Snell has struggled to make any impact on the offensive end this season, the Bulls have played far better with him on the court. He led the team with a +9 despite missing all three of his shots. Now in his third season, Snell has gotten better at using his length to disrupt opponents defensively. The Butler-Snell combination could yield Chicago its strongest defensive wing pairing since Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer were at their peaks.
  • Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe combined for 44 points and 11 assists. They’re an entertaining backcourt pairing, and the Suns look like a solid threat for the bottom of the West playoff bracket. PJ Tucker annoyingly had his best game of the season, scoring 20 points with seven boards. A lot of fun bench guys got run, including Mirza Teletovic, Alex Len, Devin Booker, and Archie Goodwin.
  • Coming up: the Bulls continue the circus road trip on Friday night as big underdogs in Golden State against the defending champions, who are 12-0. If you recall, the Bulls handed the Warriors one of their two home losses last season. Quick note: Golden State is insanely, mind-bogglingly good on both ends of the floor. Steph Curry is one of the most unique players in NBA history and a joy to watch. Do yourself a favor and watch this next game, even if the Warriors win big. They could win 73 games.