Nov. 22, 2016
How to beat the Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have a record of 10-2. They've only had two losses but I noticed some interesting trends. The Warriors haven't had many of the headlines this season. It's only big news when they lose. When you watch this team play, you can see where the small issues are. I won’t act as if I have the formula to beat the Warriors but I do have some ideas.
First, stop their transition play. When the Spurs embarrassed the Warriors I watched coach Gregg Popovich very closely. Popovich used his timeouts as good as he could. Whenever the Warriors were about to start a run, he’d call a timeout. If Durant hit two shots in a row, he’d call a timeout. If the Spurs had a few bad possessions in a row he wouldn’t say anything, as most coaches do. To beat the Warriors, you have to use your timeouts wisely. Of course they’ll go on a run. That’s what great teams do. But if you can stop them from scoring their usual points in transition, that gets you one step closer to a win.
Next, you can bully them on the boards. Dating back to last season, the Warriors lost most games where they couldn’t out rebound their opponent. This season, in both of their losses, the Warriors were out-rebounded by at least 11. It may not seem like a lot, but those rebounds limit the Warriors from running in transition. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant lead the team in rebounding. Zaza Pachulia isn't a terrifying big man. Taking out the Warriors on the boards is an important step.
Last is defend the 3. The Warriors have a team of high volume shooters. Klay Thompson is always hot, Kevin Durant could be considered one of the best scorers ever and Stephen Curry is arguably the best shooter ever. But for this team to lose, you have to defend the shots from long range. In their loss against the baby Lakers, the Warriors shot just 16% from 3. And against the Spurs they shot 21%. Do you see the trend here?
Look, I’m high on the Warriors like everyone else. But there are a few holes in this team. If you can out rebound them, stop the fast break, and defend the long range bombs, the Warriors can be defeated. Of course this is easier said than done.
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