How current Warriors compare to dynasty teams through 23 games originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors are back at the top of the NBA standings, bringing fans back to the organization's dominant five-year run from 2014-2019 that featured three championships and five NBA Finals appearances.
So how does this year's Warriors team, currently 19-4, stack up with those dynastic squads from years past at the 23-game mark?
For one, the Warriors are off to their best 23-game start since 2016-17, when Golden State jumped out to a 20-3 start. That season was the first with Kevin Durant in the fold, and ended with a championship over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The previous two seasons, however, saw the Warriors jump out to even better starts.
The historic 73-9 Warriors of 2015-16 rattled off wins in each of their first 23 games, while the first title team with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in 2014-15 was 21-2 by this point in the season.
The Warriors' 113.1 points per game this season is third in the NBA, but pales in comparison to the numbers with KD in the lineup (all statistics courtesy of Sportradar). The Warriors even averaged more PPG than that during the 2020-21 campaign, in which the team landed in the play-in tournament and was eliminated after back-to-back losses.
A 110.9 offensive rating ranks third in the NBA this season, but it falls well short of the ratings of each of the three KD teams and the record-breaking '15-16 season.
The main takeaway when comparing this team is that it is much less similar to those high-powered groups with Durant and Klay, and much closer to coach Steve Kerr's first title team in 2014-15.
The Warriors have allowed at least 105 points per game in every season since 2016-17 (KD's first year), but have the league's best opponent points per game this season (100.8) by a wide margin.
The Warriors' defensive rating of 98.4 is much closer to the '15-16 (98.2) and '14-15 (95.2) marks through 23 games than it is to those of the '16-'18 campaigns (101.6,101.6, 106.9).
There still is plenty of basketball left to be played, but it's clear that this Warriors defense is one of the franchise's best in recent memory so far.
If they can keep this level up and continue getting contributions from across the rotation, perhaps we will see another deep playoff run come late spring.