Let us skip most of the intro. The Warriors have killed it to open the season, is there a difference between this year and last?
Answer 1: 15% more Curry! 2 more mpg so far, but also his USG rate is 15% higher (28.9 -> 33.2). This increase almost mirrors the decrease in Klay Thompson's (27.6->23.8) total possessions on the court. An MVP stealing an extra few possessions from a poor offensive player could help a team a lot, but stealing from an all star shooting guard that had a TS of almost 60% last year and over 60% this year? That doesn't actually seem like a big deal. A gain, but not a large gain, so what is up?
Answer 2: Big Spike in TS% along with the increase in USG! Here we go. Curry has somehow managed to go from a super efficient high usage guy (63.8% TS) to an even superier efficientier higherier usage guy (68.9% TS) how did he do this?
Answer 3: By going all James Harden on the league. A year ago Curry shot 18.6% of his attempts form inside of 3 ft, this year its bumped up to 20.8%, a nice nudge but there is more. A year ago he was averaging 6.3 FTAs per 100 possessions, this year its up to 9 per 100, a big jump but there is more. Curry is also shooting more 3s than last season- up 3 full attempts per 100 possessions. These extra shots have come at the expense of mid range jumpers from 10ft out to the 3 pt line. A very Harden-esque strategy. Is there anything else to note?
Answer 4: Curry is assisting a lot less (AST% down almost 8 points, total assists per 100 down 3.2), but he is being assisted slightly more. (assisted on 2 pt attempts flat, on 3 pt fgs up from 58.4 to 60.5%). However small that may be if you combine that with his higher attempts he is being assisted on 1.1 extra 3 per 100 and 0.75 extra 2s per game. Since Curry shoots above 50% from the floor that means we should be expecting to see about 3.5 possessions come back around to Curry that weren't last year. Curry's total attempts from last year are up 3.2 per 100 possessions. Anything else?
Answer 5: Even though Curry's shots inside of 3 ft only went up 2.2 percentage points, because his 2pters from 10 ft out went down significantly his shots inside of 3 ft as a percent of his total 2 pters went up by more than 4 percentage points.
Conclusion: The three most significant causes of GS upsurge in offense seem to be (in no order) Curry's increased FT attempts, Curry's better shot selection and GS' willingness to pass back to Curry. I will be working on some defensive strategies for dealing with this situation in the future.