First Team All Defense.
No, not Tony Allen. Ron Adams.
Ron Adams, the Warriors’ brilliant defensive strategist, came up with an incredible defensive adjustment for this game, that turned this series on a dime: ZONE.
Yes, zone. The commentators and twitterverse read it as Andrew Bogut on Tony Allen, but that was just a by-product of the zone. This is what the Warriors were doing: Barnes and Green were picking up Gasol and Randolph, and FRONTING. Bogut was playing free-safety under the rim. Any entry into the post — not easy against a front — resulted in an immediate Bogut double team.
Tony Allen? Bogut wasn’t guarding him. NOBODY was guarding him. Because nobody has to guard him. He couldn’t hit a three pointer if you locked him in a gym overnight.
Tony Allen? Ron Adams’ defensive adjustment ENDED him. Because one-way guards have no place in NBA basketball. And genius coaches know how to enforce that rule.
First Team All Defense got a grand total of 16 minutes in this game. Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green stayed fresh and out of foul trouble. The Warriors offense gradually picked up steam, gaining confidence from a defense that had the Grizzlies on lock down. And then blew it open when the Grizzlies lost patience and started turning the ball over.
Thank you, Ron Adams.
First Team All Defense.
Stephen Curry: The Grizzlies can’t guard both Curry and Thompson at the same time. Cannot. Don’t have the defenders. Don’t have the length. Can we stop with the silliness now?
That means you, Matt Steinmetz. The idea that open playoff jumpers are tougher for Curry than regular season jumpers is beyond ludicrous. Did you happen to miss Curry in March Madness? In the first four playoff series of his career?
All great shooters have cold streaks. But Stephen Curry is one of those great shooters who lives for pressure. Feasts on it.
You want to point to the decrease in his playoff shooting percentage? He’s being triple teamed, for Pete’s sake. No one guards Curry in the regular season like they guard him in the playoffs. Simple as that.
In the playoffs, Curry’s percentage goes down. And Harrison Barnes’ goes up. It ain’t rocket science.
The Black Falcon: Because they hadn’t truly been challenged until now, it took the Warriors eight games to wake up to the fact that they’re back in the playoffs, which means Harrison Barnes is being left completely unguarded.
The nutcases are coming out again to rave about Barnes. OK, fine.
I predicted it.
Barnes stepped up his offensive aggressiveness in this game, no doubt as a result of the team’s extensive video session, and his coaches’ urging. But what has impressed me more has been his defense on Gasol and Randolph. The best part of his game in this series, if you ask me, and a key part of making the Warriors’ Nellieball lineups work.
The Thirty Point Line: Barnes + Green, 26 points. But they got to take the fourth quarter off. Do I get a pass?
Bogut: Showed up. Or was it Ron Adams’ scheme that allowed him to show up?
There has been speculation that Bogut injured his back in the first game. Possible, but I haven’t seen conclusive evidence of it.
One thing I’m certain of: In four playoff games against the physicality of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, Big Bogues has yet to shoot a free throw. Could you call this a form of softness? If so, there’s a special place reserved for Bogut in the Softness Hall of Fame.
Maybe cowardice is a better word.
The Ghost of David Lee: Gave the Warriors much needed, and successful, minutes. At center, his best position.
He was much better early on than he was late, when Marc Gasol steamrolled him on two straight possessions. I was disturbed by that, which I think is uncharacteristic of Lee when matched up against big men. He’s been uber-tough in the post throughout his career, rarely giving ground to anyone. (His weaknesses have been against quicker stretch-fours, and in giving help defense.)
I have a strong suspicion that Lee is once again playing injured in the playoffs. I don’t like what I see. Slow running the floor. Playing below the rim. No crispness in his moves. A lack of touch on his patented running hooks. One rebound. Getting steamrolled.
I’m really glad he’s getting a chance to contribute, particularly now that the Warriors desperately need his minutes. I think that he’s a great enough basketball player that he’s able to make a contribution even on one leg. But I don’t think we’re seeing the real DLee right now, and I doubt we will.
Kerr did throw Lee one bone during his 15 minutes of play, a throwback high pick and roll with a spread floor: Lee drove the lane, then threw a perfect dime to Iggy in the corner for a wide-open three.