This is Town Business: Warriors’ New Year Resolutions
After the Warriors’ 132-109 romp over the Phoenix Suns, Bay Area media asked different players if they had any New Year’s resolutions. The answers varied but the common theme was the same: The Warriors aren’t into making resolutions. In terms of celebrating, they are more concerned with popping champagne bottles in early June instead of New Year’s Day.
In order for the Warriors to win their fourth title in five years, here are a few “resolutions” that they should make.
Lock In On Defense
Currently, the Warriors hold a pedestrian 108 defensive rating. At 13th in the league, they are not playing defense at the level needed to dominate. Their well-documented struggles defending the paint are one of the main reasons. Granted, the Warriors lead the league in blocks with 6.2 per game, but they fail to recover those 50/50 balls and tend to surrender rebounds. Plus, their young and inexperienced group of bigs aren’t disciplined enough not to bite on pump fakes, and just generally not big enough to defend opposing centers
They also struggle on perimeter defense however, most of that has more to do with the adjustment of playing within the freedom of movement rule than lack of effort.
What will help the Warriors is overplaying the passing lanes more in order to force turnovers. Also, they must become aware in transition. As far as the paint is concerned, deploying help for the five may be beneficial.
Less off-ball action for Stephen Curry
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, more often than not prefers to use Curry off the ball, and it’s understandable. Curry moves well off the ball. He can re-locate and get his shots as well as create gravity. Understood.
However, the Warriors and Curry are more dynamic on offense with the ball in his hands. High screen and roll action with Curry and Durant or with Draymond Green is tough to guard. Plus, the gravity that Curry creates out of the sets can opening up opportunities for others on the floor. That way, defenses will have to pick who they have to double and live with the consequences.
Less shot attempts for Klay Thompson
I get it. Shooters shoot but the cliché is useless when the shot selections are poor. With the exception of the record-setting game against the Bulls and his slump busting game against the Blazers, Thompson has struggled from the field this season-shooting career lows in three point and field goal percentages.
In the midst of his slump, Thompson continued to chuck shot and force himself into a rhythm. On the other hand, it’s been impossible for Thompson, to get into the flow of the offense when the offense is out of sorts.
Until the Warriors can get into a consistent flow on offense, it’s best for Thompson to be more selective in his shots. Stop forcing those contested mid-range jumpers when defenses will sell all the way out and give away middies. Thompson can get his three’s by re-locating.
Counter The “Forget About Dray” Defense
Opposing defenses have been successful against the Warriors when they dare Green to shoot. They do this because it is well known that Green is more of a facilitator than a scorer. When they sag off of Green and overplay the passing lanes, it impedes the Warriors’ offense.
But in recent games, Kerr is using Green as a screener, and that’s a step in the right direction. Green is the best screen setter among the starters and is necessary for the Warriors to get clean looks.
Pick and roll action with Curry could also be another wrinkle to counter defenders’ tendency to sag off of Green. Curry is an underrated screen setter, and could be impactful as the roll man. He could either finish in the paint and draw contact, or can kick it out to an open Durant or Thompson. Curry can also kick the ball out and re-locate for his own shot.
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