Golden State wins its fifth straight game on the strength of its defense.

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 104-100 in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season on Wednesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California, USA.

It was a nail-biter. The two teams battled back and forth from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. The winner was Golden State. Golden State snapped Dallas’ seven-game winning streak with a clutch performance from Draymond Green on both offense and defense.

The win was Golden State’s fifth straight. The five-game winning streak is tied for the Warriors’ longest of the season. Sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference, the Warriors had been chased by 11th-place Houston, which had recently surged with an 11-game winning streak. However, a five-game winning streak has given the Warriors a breather, extending their lead over the Rockets to three games.

The secret to Golden State’s five-game winning streak is defense. There’s a famous quote that’s been around for a long time. “Offense makes a game fun, but defense makes a team great”. Golden State has been on a roll lately thanks to its strong defense.

During their five-game winning streak, the Warriors have given up 100 points or less in four of those games. That’s some serious defense. The Warriors are winning games with solid defense, not flashy offensive basketball.

Offenses are bound to have their ups and downs. And this season, Golden State has been a very up-and-down offense. Ace Steph Curry has been a consistent performer, but even he has been up and down this season. Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins have been up and down, not steady. Jonathan Cuminga has matured and taken on some of the offensive load, but he’s been up and down as a young prospect.

Offensive inconsistency has been a major reason for Golden State’s struggles this season. The Warriors have averaged 115.6 points per game this season, 17th in the NBA, and a defensive rating of 115.9, 15th overall, meaning they are an average to below-average defensive team.

However, Golden State’s defense has completely changed, and Green is at the center of it. Green has been a thorn in the side of Golden State fans this season, with several flagrant fouls and suspensions, but he definitely makes an impact when he’s on the floor.

On defense, Green’s impact is huge. He’s an all-around defender who has the range to defend players other than his own man, and he’s great on screens and in transition. He even directs his teammates’ defensive positions, making him a de facto coach on the court.

It’s easy to see why Green is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year when you watch him play for Golden State.

Add to that a solid forward line defense with Wiggins, who has bounced back after a slow start to the season, and Kuminga, who has improved this season. Both players have great physicality in the forward positions, which allows them to put pressure on opposing attackers.

The frontcourt defenders, Curry and Thompson, are also average defenders who are not holes. Add to that Chris Paul and Gary Payton II on the bench, and you’ve got a great defense. Head coach Steve Kerr is known for his flashy offense, but he’s also a master of defense. That’s why Golden State’s defense is so solid.

The challenge for Golden State for the rest of the season is to reduce the ups and downs. Even with the ups and downs of the offense, if the defense continues to play like it has been, the Warriors should be able to continue their rise.

The question is, how far will the Warriors go?


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