Knocking Off The Golden State Warriors

The Larry O’Brien trophy might as well be handed over to the Golden State Warriors already. The Warriors stand a bigger chance against the rest of their NBA rivals already, with Kevin Durant moving into the Bay Area. This may well be the player they needed.

So, we might as well just give the Golden State Warriors the Larry O’Brien trophy for next season, right? With Kevin Durant making his move to the Bay Area, the Warriors stand far above the rest of their NBA competition.
This may well be the best set of offensive play we have seen on a basketball court ever, but it doesn’t make the Warriors impossible to beat. They still have to firstly slice up the team to even make some space for Durant, as well as deal with the space left behind by Andrew Bogut, not to mention the fact that both Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes will be gone.

The Golden State Warriors, unfortunately, still have to put in massive amounts of effort throughout the 82 games of the season, after which they must make it through another three rounds of the ‘best of seven’ playoffs. The best shot other teams have of beating the Warriors involves maximizing their advantage of the warrior’s reserves rather than going for the head on.

The Warriors are likely to rely dangerously on fringe players and rookies next season off of the bench. The Warriors do have great rookies though, and if they do manage to beat the other team, or play them to a halt, there isn’t much hope left. Durant mentions that the best way to beat the rookies is to punish them for not playing up a good game. You shouldn’t let them out-rebound you on any of the floor sides, especially the offensive glass, as a big part of the defensive strategy requires having the Warriors stay out of the lane.

It’s the gameplay and change for scoring when inside the arc that lets the Warriors shine, rather all the attention they’ve garnered for 3-point shots. Their focus on 3 pointers, especially in the presence of Durant, makes for a lot of missed shot opportunities by the Warriors; the inevitable trade-off that they accept for the extra point the 3-pointer earns them. They attempt to offset this by placing people on the rim to capitalize on easy rebound shots and layups. That sacred space of the Golden State Warriors can be stolen with good protection on the rim using a single big guy who needs the little help as well as good perimeter control. If done effectively, this can stop a lot of shot opportunities of the Warriors.

If you get an open grab during pass-throughs, it’s best to grab it, and this wrecks havoc with a team as emotional as the Golden State Warriors who will waste no time in finger pointing when given a taste of their own icky medicine. It’s never a good idea to underestimate the power of the Warrior’s transitions, having scored more points in the area than all other than the one team ‘The Kings.’ Thompson and Curry play a major role in this success with their many ways of getting a shot off. The two of them scored 20% of transition points, and Green adds to the danger with his ability to not only grab the rebounds but push forward himself.

The Jazz makes for one of the best examples on how to stop the Warriors in their tracks, giving them the biggest scare so far. Opting to go hard in the 4th Quarter with players like Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz placed a big player with broad reach on every inch of the backcourt, playing against the Warrior’s weakness.