With the Raptors up 2-1 in the NBA Finals, we once again spoke with Jannelle Moore of Golden State of Mind about what to expect heading into Game 4. She also provided some analysis on the series so far, and we have our take too:
We’re now three games into the Finals. Aside from injuries, what aspect are you most disappointed with regarding the Warriors’ gameplay? How would you fix this issue moving forward?
I’m disappointed in the Warriors defense. They could do a better job guarding the perimeter and getting back in transition. While people may argue that Steph Curry needed help offensively (and rightfully so). You can also say that the Warriors could have been much better on the defensive end. The Warriors could fix it by making defense a priority — run the shooters off the three. Hustle back in transition. Fight for the rebound. It sounds simple because it is but sometimes the Warriors like to make the game more complicated that it has to be.
HQ’s Take: The Warriors’ defense has certainly been concerning (if you’re a Golden State fan), but their offense has been lacklustre, aside from Steph’s heroics. The Raptors’ defense prevented open looks last game, and while Golden State made some tough shots (thanks, Quinn Cook), they need to move more off the ball in Game 2.
There’s been some talk in the dark corners of the internet about a potential asterisk on the Raptors’ title if they defeat the hobbled Warriors. Did you hear similar sentiments after the Warriors won their first championship of this era playing against an injured Cavs team? What’s your take on the situation?
Regarding the 2015 title, we did have the “asterisk” on it. My take on it is putting asterisks and disclaimers on titles doesn’t change the history books a bit. The result is what it is. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. With that being said, you can’t help who you play with or play against. You line them up and play with whoever is active and play whoever is in front of you, period.
HQ’s Take: Conversations about asterisks are almost too ridiculous for me to dignify with a reasonable discussion. There are injuries in nearly every series, all throughout the playoffs. While it’s unfortunate that this situation is coming to a head in the Finals, it should be viewed like any other series. For the record, I don’t put an asterisk on the Warriors’ first championship, and neither should anyone else.
Danny Green and Kyle Lowry were firing on all cylinders last game, banging 11 threes on 19 attempts. If Klay Thompson’s play is negatively affected by injury, how should the Warriors guard the perimeter differently?
If Klay is negatively affected by injury, the Warriors could give him a less strenuous assignment on defense and just take turns in providing help especially if Klay is contributing offensively. To be honest, any kind of perimeter defense is welcome right now even if Klay is banged up.
HQ’s Take: Danny Green isn’t the most athletic guy on the floor. He’s not especially fast, and he can’t create his own shot consistently. So, if Klay’s lateral movement is hampered, he’ll likely see some extended time matched up against Danny. Green exploded last game, canning six threes; the Warriors should send some extra pressure his way, even if it’s in the form of a banged-up Klay.
Thanks again to Jannelle. Please check out Golden State of Mind for more Warriors content throughout the series.