Last week we looked at the problem the Cleveland Cavaliers will face in the Finals, now it is the Golden State Warriors turn. Oddly enough, it is similar the same issues they faced in the finals last year. The two biggest questions will be their ability to stop Tristan Thompson from crashing the offensive glass and can they contain their turnovers?
In order for the Warriors to sign Kevin Durant last offseason, they had to sacrifice some depth and it cost them bruisers like Andrew Bogut. They replaced Bogut with Pachulia and also have unleashed the deadliest lineup the NBA has ever seen when they go small with Draymond Green at the five and Durant at the four spot. Taking care of the defensive glass will be a huge issue when they are small. The Warriors have a tendency to miss box outs, in the first example they gave up three offensive rebounds on one possession which eventually led to a LaMarcus Aldridge layup. Then Klay Thompson got caught watching the ball instead of putting a body on DeJounte Murray who blew passed him and tips in the missed shot.
The biggest threat on the offensive glass for the Warriors will be Thompson. He is averaging 4.2 offensive rebounds a game in these playoffs and was a thorn in the sides of the Boston Celtics, in the three clips below he made them pay every time they did not box out on him.
The Warriors’ turnover problem is another issue that they must control, at the start of the playoffs they were much more diligent in keeping their turnovers low. As the playoffs have gone on their turnover numbers have climbed, they went from averaging just 10.5 turnovers against the Utah Jazz to 18.3 versus the San Antonio Spurs. Most of these turnovers were of a sloppy variety. These are the types of turnovers they cannot give up, Green’s pass to Steph Curry who was not looking. Andre Iguodala was sloppy with his pass and Green does not step to the ball allowing Manu Ginobili to shoot the gap and steal the ball for an And-1 layup. Then Curry threw the ball out of bounds on two different occasions.
Those last two examples are very similar to this game seven turnover from last year’s Finals.
The Warriors are on a quest for redemption after failing to repeat as champions last year. To do this they will have to keep Thompson off of the glass and have to put a body on him every time a shot goes up. They also have to remain disciplined in taking care of the ball; they can’t afford to be very loose with their passing like they were in the conference finals. If the Warriors are able to correct these issues they will be on their way to winning their second championship in three years.
- The Cavs defense is their biggest concern in the Finals
- Zach Lowe wrote a great piece on the Cavs 1-3 Pick and Roll.
- A great piece from Justin Rowan on How the Cavs can defeat the Warriors
- Photo Credit – AP / Tony Dejak
- Stats from NBA.com/Stats