In today’s NBA landscape, the Golden State Warriors represent a new dynasty that will be around for many years to come. Already having been in three consecutive NBA Finals and looking to punch their ticket to a fourth consecutive appearance, the Warriors seem invincible. The Warriors were already stacked with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala as their core but the addition of Kevin Durant during the 2016-2017 season just made it unfair. In this article, we’ll take a look at how another team can beat the Warriors in a seven-game playoff series – a tall task to say the least.
The Warriors love to shoot and make threes. As one of the best offensive teams in NBA history in terms of accuracy and efficiency, one of the ways to stop the Warriors is to limit their ability to take three-point shots and/or make them miss from the three-point line. Simply put, if the Warriors get hot from the three-point line, the game and/or series will pretty much be a wrap. Three of their players – Curry, Thompson, and Durant – basically have unlimited range and as a result, it’d be very difficult to force them off the three-point line. As demotivating as this may sound, teams simply have to hope that the Warriors miss good looks from three-point range. The key for opposing teams is to play good defense against the Warriors around the three-point line and hope they miss. It’s not enough to just play good defense against the Warriors since it’s not like they’re not capable of making tough shots.
Limit Transition Opportunities
Another facet of the game that the Warriors love is the transition game. As a result, it’s extremely important for opposing teams to slow the game down and in turn, limit the transition opportunities available to the Warriors. For the opposing team, this translates into getting back on defense after missed shots and limiting turnovers. The vast offensive arsenal of the Warriors means that they’re able to easily spot mismatches in transition and exploit them, whether it’d be a stop-and-pop three pointer or a good look around the basket.
Slow The Game Down
When matched up against an offense as historic as that of the Warriors, it’s vital to limit the number of possessions afforded to them over the course of one game as well as the series overall. As a result, teams playing against the Warriors must find ways to slow down the game and make each possession a grind. This means that teams must be able to work their offense to ideally take shots late in the shot clock while also forcing the Warriors to go deep into their own shot clock on their offensive possessions. The more possessions that the Warriors have, the more chances they’ll have to put up shots. By limiting the number of total shot attempts, you’ll be able to more likely disrupt their flow and hopefully throw them off balance.
Force Curry To Defend At A High-Level
It’s a well-known fact that sharpshooter Stephen Curry only rates as an average defender. As a result, teams that are able to truly exploit Curry’s subpar defensive abilities will be able to work more favorable offensive possessions while also tiring out Curry by forcing him to play hard on both the offensive and defensive ends.