3 Takeaways from Warriors' November Performance

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 2, 2021

3 Takeaways from Warriors' November Performance

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    The Golden State Warriors hit the hardwood 15 times during the month of November and netted 13 wins along the way.

    Maybe that's not a no-loss November, but it's impressive domination, particularly when Klay Thompson and James Wiseman are both still awaiting their 2021-22 NBA season debuts.

    This stretch of games revealed several things about this squad, so let's take a look at the top three takeaways.

Stephen Curry Is a Magician

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Stephen Curry might have finally looked mortal against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, but those moments have come few and far between for the MVP front-runner.

    Despite managing just 12 points on 21 shots, he still finished his 14-game month with nightly averages of 27.4 points and 6.6 assists and a 46.6/42.3/92.5 shooting slash. Tuesday marked the second time all month when he didn't post a positive plus/minus; the other was when the Warriors were outscored by a single point during his 35 minutes of their Nov. 3 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

    His defense has perked up. His three-point shooting might be better than ever (at least by volume). His ball control is among the best of his career. His impact is astounding. The only two times he bettered his current .271 win shares per 48 minutes, he captured the MVP, per Basketball Reference.

    His all-time greatness was cemented well before this season tipped, but the 33-year-old makes you wonder whether we have even seen his best work yet.

Ultimate Leverage Heading into Trade Season

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    Noah Graham/Getty Images

    Since the start of last season, when Curry and Draymond Green made it clear they remained NBA elites, many have wondered whether the team should cash in its long-term assets for immediate relief.

    With a championship prize potentially on the line, the rationale was easy to follow. Even Curry, Green and Thompson pushed for the team to chase instant upgrades, even if they came at the expense of their two lottery picks, per The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II.

    But patience has so far proved virtuous for the Warriors, who kept the picks (used on Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody) and 2020 No. 2 selection James Wiseman. This early success gives them all of the leverage heading into trade season.

    Clearly, they don't need to rock the boat. Saying that, they still have some of the best trade chips in the business, so they might be open to an exchange if the right offer comes along.

Roster Has Embarrassment-of-Riches Potential

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    Noah Graham/Getty Images

    During November, the Warriors outscored their opponents by a staggering 14.6 points per 100 possessions. That was more than three points better per 100 possessions than the Phoenix Suns (plus-11.3), who went a perfect 16-0 over the 30 days.

    Golden State may not resemble a superteam on paper, but it's steamrolling opponents like one on a regular basis. That's a terrifying thought when Thompson and Wiseman are still on the mend.

    Curry is arguably the most devastating offensive force in the league. Green might be its best defender. Andrew Wiggins is graduating Golden State university as the most efficient version of himself. Jordan Poole has forced his way into the Most Improved Player race. Gary Payton II might warrant All-Defensive consideration. Every veteran addition has helped, and even the rookies have occasionally contributed.

    If Thompson approaches his old form and Wiseman shows better awareness and instincts, this could be basketball's next juggernaut.

                   

    Statistics courtesy of NBA.com unless otherwise noted.

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