Golden StateWarriors

Lee's hot start among intriguing early Warriors trends


The Warriors have started the season by winning the first three games and sweeping the state of California.

Here are some notes, trends and statistics analyzing the first week of action:

1) The Warriors are shooting more free throws than their opponents

Last season, the Warriors were often reckless and undisciplined on defense, resulting in an extraordinary amount of fouls. This season, the Warriors have been the aggressor on offense and drawing fouls, rather than handing them out.

In the 2020-21 season, the Warriors led their opponent in free throws attempts in only 19 of their 72 regular-season games. This season, they are a perfect three-for-three.

2) Draymond Green has been assertive and looking to score 

The Warriors are a better team when Green faces up and attacks the rim, forcing the opposing defense to stay honest and defend him. So far this season, Green is starting to do exactly that.

Against the Kings on Sunday night, Green attempted 12 field goals, which may not seem like a lot on the surface, but is significant compared to the start of last season, when he was trying to regain his conditioning after having COVID-19.

To start the 2020-21 season, Green only attempted 10 or more field goals in one of his first 32 games played, and finished the season with only five such games in 63 played. 

With his increased attempts have come solid results. Green has scored 10 or more points in two of the first three games, a big upgrade from last season in which he started the year only scoring in double-digits in three of his first 27 games played. 

3) Steph Curry is filling up the box score

Yes, Curry captivates audiences by putting the ball in the hoop, but he is doing so much more than that to help his team to start the season. Curry has finished with 10 or more assists in two of the first three games this season. Last season, he had four such games of his 63 games played. 

Curry also started the year with back-to-back games of 10 or more rebounds for the first time in the regular season since his rookie year in 2010. He also accomplished this feat in the 2017 NBA Finals.

4) The Warriors are not running Kevon Looney into the ground

With multiple injuries and a depleted roster at the end of last season, the Warriors relied on Looney to play heavy minutes down the stretch. Over the last 19 games of the season, Looney played nearly 27 minutes per contest.

So far this season, Looney has started all games, but has been limited to just over 16 minutes per game. The addition of Nemanja Bjelica and the increased center minutes for Green have alleviated the need for Looney to play for long stretches.

The big question moving forward will be how his minutes will be affected when James Wiseman returns from his injury.

RELATED: Warriors sketching map to 50 or more wins after 3-0 start

5) A great start to the season for Damion Lee

A lot was made of the additions to the roster this offseason, but one holdover from the last couple years, Damion Lee, has stepped up to start the year. Lee has scored 11 or more points in three straight games to start the season, his longest streak scoring double-digit points since the end of the 2019-20 season.

The Warriors will benefit greatly this season if Lee maintains this level of play throughout the season.

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