It’s Doable Folks
The Warriors are the best team in basketball right now. They have no real spot on identifiable weakness. They aren’t gods. While chasing after the 1996 Bulls record, they’ve been beaten 9 times and not by teams you’d expect. Here’s how 7 of them beat the reigning champs.
The Milwaukee Bucks did it first. They used the speed and length of guard O.J. Mayo, 6'4" with 6'6" wingspan to lock down Steph Curry. When Mayo sat Michael Carter-Williams would take over who’s also lanky and quick would match Curry.
The Bucks used length and quickness to force other Warriors than Curry to be play makers and with aggressive close outs on rotating defensive. They played a hell of a game.
See Dallas did it, but they caught a break. The Warriors didn’t have Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, and oh yeah, Steph Curry. I wouldn’t look into much of the Mavericks game plan, but it should be noted they fought through almost every screen, and shot pretty well 14–27 from 3 point land.
In early January the Denver Nuggets had their way with the team as well. Luke Walton decided to rest Draymond Green, whose replacement Jason Thompson wasn’t even close to the number Green puts up. Also Will Barton and Gary Harris did the best at making Klay Thompson not have an easy day. What also should be noted is the performance by Danilo Gallinari, whose size and play making ability was something the Warriors struggled with all night.
Locking up Green was Eran Illaysova. The Pistons didn’t even attempt to double the ball, just fluent switches on screens. The Pistons held the Warriors to a season low of assists(18) and held them to 32% shooting from the field.
Defense. The Trailblazers were able to cause 13 turnovers in the third quarter, the Warriors average 15 a game. Also Damian Lillard put up 51 points. The capitalization on turnovers was a huge success.
Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas disrupted the guard play of Curry and Thompson. The two NBA all stars didn’t get going until much later on in the game. Also contributing to the win was a great game from Evan Turner, who shot 8–13 from the field ending with 21–5–5.
In the Warriors most recent lost we see that Green fouled out. An outstanding performance from Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns down the stretch. Minnesota also rotated and made Golden State cough up the ball over 20 times.
This team becomes slightly easier when everyone isn’t healthy, but because I’d never wish injury on someone.
So in the instances above there’s 3 keys that show up. First is to limit the play making ability of Draymond Green. Second would be causing difficult shots for the splash brothers, you can only hope to contain them. Disrupting they’re ability on the long ball . Lastly, if you manage to force more than 15 turnovers, you must capitalize on them.
I said it was doable, not easy.