We knew this was coming; we’ve been waiting all season for its arrival, we saw flashes during the season and in a snap of the fingers it’s devastating powers arrived. The New Orleans Pelicans were the first true victim and their playoff hopes have turned to dust. When the Golden State Warriors play defense the way they did in their second-quarter run in game one, they are unbeatable like Marvel’s Thanos and the rest of the NBA has been put on notice.
The Warriors defense has been quite strong all playoffs, leading all playoff teams with a
defensive rating of 99.4, they are the only team that has a below 100 rating. Their defensive powers were on full display in game one when they went on a 25-9 run from 7:22 in the second quarter to the half. If you take away Darius Miller’s end of quarter heave out, and it is a 25-6 to run. They held the Pelicans scoreless for nearly four minutes during that stretch.
They were swarming on defense when Anthony Davis came off a double cross-screen, he got bumped around by the defense to allow Kevon Looney to catch up and he bumps him off the post. Then when the Pelicans entered the ball into the post, Klay Thompson left Rondo to help on Davis. Once the shot goes up, Draymond Green boxed out Solomon Hill and Kevin Durant grabbed the board.
The Warriors endlessly ability to switch is another aspect of their defense that just crushes a team. It does not matter if it is a big switching onto a guard, on the play below Green, Looney, and Durant all switched onto guards, with Looney chasing Holiday and again Green did a good job of getting a body on Davis to make sure he doesn’t get the offensive board.
Whenever a Pelican player beats his primary defender, they run into the next line of defense. Davis drove on Looney and had a lane but there was Green waiting at the baseline and blocked his layup attempt.
Even when the Pelicans get an offensive rebound, they are surrounded by Warriors, after Looney switched onto Holiday again and forced him into a difficult layup attempt, Davis grabbed the offensive rebound over Thompson and as he goes immediately up for a layup, Durant is lurking behind him and denied the attempt.
This has been the Warriors defense we’ve been waiting for, at times it felt like for one reason or another it may never arrive. In the absence of seeing this defense, the faithless thought they were vulnerable but deep down they knew how powerful the Warriors defense is, it’s Thanos like.
We’ve been waiting all season for its arrival, we saw flashes during the season and in a snap of the fingers, it’s devastating powers arrived. The Warriors defense intensity is here and now the NBA is waiting for their heroes.
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