May 30, 2016, 3:00 am
Watching film during the playoffs is one of the great equalizers all across the NBA. For coaches, players and teams it’s obviously a huge part of their game planning and it’s ultimately about time management for them. Once one gets past all the distractions of being in the playoffs, then everybody involved has to correctly assess the issues and make the necessary adjustments.
The playoffs are littered with examples every season of the pros not being able to connect all the dots. Naturally, media and analysts have to do the same exact thing if they want to know what the hell they’re talking about. I decided to blaze through one of these sessions for you guys and bring the film in to illustrate some points. This won’t be my prettiest work and there isn’t video for every comment, but at least you can get a sense of what’s going on with the key elements within this epic series. Enjoy.
Editor’s Note: Pages may take a while to load due to the video
Klay Thompson starts out on Russell Westbrook. Stephen Curry starts on Andre Roberson.
Harrison Barnes starts out on Kevin Durant. Bothers him into a missed jumper. Bothers him into another miss a few possessions later, but KD gets his own board and drills a short jumpshot.
Bogut had a tip in bucket sandwiched in-between these two plays but his inability to move his feet leads to free throws and a dunk.
Serge Ibaka stuck his shoulder into Draymond Green in the post and it will only go down as two points but it was nice to see the aggression. Green responds with an iffy three out of triple-threat and Ibaka more or less in his grill.
8:00 – Draymond moves off of Ibaka to help on a Durant drive past Barnes, expertly done and forces the miss.
6:38 – Enes Kanter comes on for Steven Adams after Adams gets hit for an off-ball foul. It’s his first foul but Billy Donovan could be subbing to keep the second foul from happening and also as a convenient excuse to see what Kanter can do.
Andre Iguodala comes on for Barnes and gets the assignment on KD. In the first battle KD jacked a bad three that caused Donovan to call timeout, and then he gets right to work on Iguodala beating him to create this open corner three.
Westbrook starts heating up with a patented walks-on-air drive, Ibaka gets a friendly bounce on a three created by Westbrook penetration, and then a Westbrook jumper forces Kerr to call his first timeout.
4:41 – Warriors go to the Death Lineup. Thunder bring in Dion Waiters for Kevin Durant, Randy Foye for Enes Kanter. This brings in extra ballhandling to offset the loss of offense from Durant, as Donovan might be trying to sneak in a few minutes of rest early on.
Warriors run a weave set out of the timeout but the problems with their offense get summed up right away. After working to get a few switches they could have gone with, they opt to go for Klay against Roberson. Klay has done pretty well against Roberson in this series but Roberson had just rejected Klay after Steph forced Klay into a bad spot on a cut.
Here, Roberson has help defenders flanking his right and besides – you have the league MVP on Randy Foye. The Warriors can live off this play in the regular season, but when every possession matters the play here is to swing the ball to Steph and let him go to work.
Draymond Green continues to provide help against the OKC stars — this time Westbrook — and his timing coming across the lane is impeccable. He is also making himself very big as he does it. Textbook stuff.
Curry jacks up a three in an almost pick-and-roll vs. Westbrook and Foye/Iguodala. Misses. Check out this coverage though. You’ve got Dion Waiters checking Draymond Green and it makes a lot of sense. Green isn’t a great post player and Waiters has the strength to hold him off. This puts Ibaka on Barnes and the Thunder must like his ability to help off Barnes because otherwise they’d just stick him on Green and not gamble with the Waiters size mismatch.
Again, Curry can have any matchup he wants by getting a switch while he’s on the ball or by going off the ball. Using Barnes in the pick-and-roll would get him Ibaka, who he has famously roasted in the rare times the Warriors have played the switch game.
Curry gets Foye on a switch but again the Warriors have no interest in attacking it. Klay takes Ibaka to the rack after a switch and that’s a close second to getting Curry going.
2:30 – Adams and Durant are back in for Roberson and Ibaka. Livingston comes in for Klay. We’re officially in the wild card zone of ‘anything goes’ with rotations for both squads. We’ve been seeing it all in this time between the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter, and the same thing is happening with the third and fourth quarters, too.
Warriors try to use Barnes in the post against Waiters. Waiters forces a turnover.
Durant jacks another iffy three after getting Livingston on a switch (Iguodala on Durant to start, Barnes on Waiters). Miss.
Here’s another classic bad shot from Durant. Andre Iguodala has lost Durant because he got caught watching the Waiters drive and he has played himself out of the play. Waiters kicks to Adams who eventually finds Durant up high. At this point Durant has already decided that he’s letting this three fly. But Iguodala comes barreling at him and rather than dribble once into contact for the shooting foul/and-1 try or simply blowing past him he fires up a quick brick.
Westbrook looks tired (or maybe pissed) on his jog back after the Durant jack, the Thunder don’t have the numbers to match up with the Warriors and it results in a wide open Barnes three (make).
The Warriors run a play for Livingston in the post against Waiters that started at the 40-second mark. Livingston wastes away the 2-for-1 chance and Waiters holds up to force the miss. Curry watched the play from a distance after a quarter of struggles – the Warriors not in any hurry to get him going as they continue to run stuff they ran all regular season.
23-20 End of Quarter 1 – The Warriors are lucky to only be down three with all the wasted possessions out of Durant, who finished 2-of-10 from the field for the quarter while Westbrook hit 4-of-7 shots. As you can see, he was frustrated heading into the quarter break.