Ultimate Warriors: How do you beat them?

Sam Ray Not

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That's where I am at. The league needs to do something to make the 2 pointer more valuable or hurt the other team more.
Maybe worth noting that the Warriors are tied with Boston for #3 in three-pointers per game this postseason (after Cleveland and Houston) and also #3 by percentage (after Cleveland and MIlwaukee, barely ahead of Indiana and Memphis).

In the regular season, they were also tied for #3 in makes (again, tied with Boston and behind Cleveland and Houston) and #3 in percentage (behind Cleveland and San Antonio).

The idea that the Warriors' dominance relies mostly on their three-point dominance is largely a myth. The margin between them and other teams in overall level of play (i.e. net efficiency) is much more significant than their margin in three point shooting.
 

cheech13

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I wonder if you'll see a push to move the three point line back in the near future, not necessarily because of the Warriors but because of the overall shift in the style of play.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Maybe worth noting that the Warriors are tied with Boston for #3 in three-pointers per game this postseason (after Cleveland and Houston) and also #3 by percentage (after Cleveland and MIlwaukee, barely ahead of Indiana and Memphis).

In the regular season, they were also tied for #3 in makes (again, tied with Boston and behind Cleveland and Houston) and #3 in percentage (behind Cleveland and San Antonio).

The idea that the Warriors' dominance relies mostly on their three-point dominance is largely a myth. The margin between them and other teams in overall level of play (i.e. net efficiency) is much more significant than their margin in three point shooting.
The reason they don't make/take more threes is that teams over-guard the three point shot against them and the floor spacing created high percentage two point shots for them.

The fact that they have three elite three point shooters is absolutely the lynchpin of their offense. That spacing is essential to everything else they do.
 

Sam Ray Not

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The reason they don't make/take more threes is that teams over-guard the three point shot against them and the floor spacing created high percentage two point shots for them. The fact that they have three elite three point shooters is absolutely the lynchpin of their offense. That spacing is essential to everything else they do.
Agreed, but you can say the same about the Cavs (Love, Irving, James, Smith, Korver, Frye) and Rockets (Harden, Gordon, Anderson, Williams, Ariza, Beverley), among other teams.

Among the league's three elite offenses (GS, Hou, Clev) the Ws actually have the most diverse attack that's the least reliant upon making threes. Makes it hard to argue that their dominance over those and other teams is mostly based on their ability to shoot threes.

If anything, their three-point defense (#1 regular season) sets them apart from the competition more than their three point shooting. Their ability to lock down the Cavs on the perimeter has been an underplayed storyline so far (that and their dominance of Tristan Thompson and the glass, which has totally surprised me).
 

Sam Ray Not

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I wonder if you'll see a push to move the three point line back in the near future, not necessarily because of the Warriors but because of the overall shift in the style of play.
Possible, but I think you'd have to tread very carefully there, as pushing it out to 24-25 feet might risk making Curry more dominant than he already is.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Agreed, but you can say the same about the Cavs (Love, Irving, James, Smith, Korver, Frye) and Rockets (Harden, Gordon, Anderson, Williams, Ariza, Beverley), among other teams.

Among the league's three elite offenses (GS, Hou, Clev) the Ws actually have the most diverse attack that's the least reliant upon making threes. Makes it hard to argue that their dominance over those and other teams is mostly based on their ability to shoot threes.
I mean, I guess? It's a bit of a chicken/egg situation. Without their three point shooters, their offense wouldn't be as diverse or efficient. I think the Warriors benefit from three point shooting more than any team in the league. That they don't always benefit from it with made three pointers doesn't necessarily mean that their dominance isn't based on their ability to shoot threes.
 

NoXInNixon

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Never in a million years, but if Lebron forced the Cavs to trade him to the Celtics for, say, Crowder and this years #1, The Lebron Celtics would fare pretty well against the Warriors, I think.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I mean, I guess? It's a bit of a chicken/egg situation. Without their three point shooters, their offense wouldn't be as diverse or efficient. I think the Warriors benefit from three point shooting more than any team in the league.
Again, they clearly benefit, but that's just NBA offense in 2017. Where's the evidence that they benefit more than the Cavs, Rockets or even Celtics?

3PM / FGM 2016-17
====
HOU 14.4 / 40.3 (35.7%)
CLE 13.0 / 39.9 (32.5%)
BOS 12.0 / 38.6 (31.0%)
GSW 12.0 / 43.1 (27.8%)

I'd feel more comfortable allowing that their dominance is based (partly) on their *net* three-point shooting (offense + defense).
 
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Grin&MartyBarret

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Where's the evidence that they benefit more than the Cavs, Rockets or even Celtics?
There isn't any evidence of that. It's just an educated guess. But I bet you could find evidence of it if you had access to SportVU data and were able to analyze the "gravitational" effect of Curry, Thompson, and Durant. Game one of the finals is the perfect case in point. You have to make so many decisions when guarding the Warriors in both transition and the half-court that all stem from their ability and willingness to shoot threes from basically anywhere on the floor. You can argue the Celtics/Rockets, etc. create the same problem, but I don't really think that's the case. Teams will happily let Trevor Ariza, Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, etc, beat them from behind the arc. It's not ideal to give them open looks, but in some cases, it's the least bad option. In Golden State, there's nobody on the perimeter that you can live with getting open shots. That's a huge difference.

To be honest, not even really sure what the point of this is. Aren't we both just saying they have an incredibly well-rounded offense in two different ways?
 
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Sam Ray Not

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To be honest, not even really sure what the point of this is. Aren't we both just saying they have an incredibly well-rounded offense in two different ways?
Haha, yeah, I kind of lost track, too. I guess as a Ws fan I'm just sensitive to arguments along the lines of, the Warriors are only (or mostly) great b/c they discovered the "market inefficiency" of 3-point shooting. They have an elite defense; they have probably the highest collective hoops IQ in the league; they run complex cutting/screening actions and move the ball better than any team in the league (or possibly any team ever); Klay may be as good at man-defense as he is at three point shooting; KD has the most complete midrange game in the league; Draymond is one of the smartest and most versatile defenders ever; Curry is a great screener, rebounder and defender for his size, and the best finisher at the rim in the league. Etc. etc.

The Rockets are a better example what you get when you try just to exploit the market inefficiency of 3-point shooting without all that other good stuff.
 
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reggiecleveland

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Maybe worth noting that the Warriors are tied with Boston for #3 in three-pointers per game this postseason (after Cleveland and Houston) and also #3 by percentage (after Cleveland and MIlwaukee, barely ahead of Indiana and Memphis).

In the regular season, they were also tied for #3 in makes (again, tied with Boston and behind Cleveland and Houston) and #3 in percentage (behind Cleveland and San Antonio).

The idea that the Warriors' dominance relies mostly on their three-point dominance is largely a myth. The margin between them and other teams in overall level of play (i.e. net efficiency) is much more significant than their margin in three point shooting.
This analysis ignores the other team and the interplay of the shots you get based on what the defence does. In the middle of the Shaq era the Lakers were shooting more 3s (9th in attempts) than 2s (11th) and fts (10th). They were third most efficient in 2s, but only 20 in 3pt %. That was pretty good team that probably had a good plan of attack. Obviously the focus was on stopping Shaq and Kobe (who was not a very good 3pt shooter then) get 2s.

The fact that despite the focus teams must have on stopping the 3, GS still shoots it 3rd most, and makes 3rd best speaks to the inability of the league to change what they do. The league defended the Lakers in a way that left gave Rick Fox, Derek Fisher lots of looks from deep. Do you think the prowess of Curry, KD, Thompson from 3 have anything to do with Javale McGee just suddenly became a 65% shooter from a career 54%?

The fact that the three point line, elimination of more physical defence, has created a style that GSW dominates. I doubt you would argue the efficiency GS has inside the arc is not related to the arc, and trying to defend their shooters on the arc. At the moment in the NBA it makes little sense to focus on low post scoring, or have more than a flash to the post. Things have turned around.

If this GS team played the 86 Celtics in 86 or the Jordan Era Bulls in the bulls' era they would probably lose.

IMHO it is worth considering tweaking things. Ironically the NBA changed things worried about an unbeatable Laker team with Shaq, and ironically created the reality for another super team relying on the 3pt line.
 

reggiecleveland

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Also this series, the series that has the GSW in the GOAT conversation. I would say dominance from 3 is a huge factor. Sure Clev is attempting the same style, in terms of shooting the 3 a lot, but they are not as good at the most important skill in today's game.

GSW-CLEV
FGA 278-276
3s made 46-31
3PA 104-109
2s made 86-76
3% .422-.298
 
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moly99

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Cavs have already given up their 2017 1st and likely their 2019 1st. They don't have any future picks to give unless you want to give up Bradley and Smart for lottery tickets in 4+ years that could be anything
LeBron and Kyrie will still be great for another four years, so trading for unprotected picks in 2021 and 2023 is exactly what Boston would want in return.

And I think it is logical for both sides if the Celtics can't find a way to improve enough now to challenge Cleveland. Swapping JR Smith for Bradley and Smart would help the Cavs try to win another ring in LeBron's remaining prime years, and that's worth potentially giving up a top 5 pick in 2023.

The Nets' mistake was to go all in around a core that was only good enough for the 6th seed in the East. It would have been worth it if they had LeBron and were the second best team in the league.
 

luckiestman

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This quote is awesome but makes me wonder, you know how we have very high income equality in the USA, have we also reached peak inequality between the average man and the pro athlete? I think the average man is way more of a sack of shit than the average man in the 80s but the athletes are vastly improved (mostly due to drugs but also because all of them are fitness fanatics now and that wasn't universally true before)

edit: someone made a great comment about this snark being what got him popped by Jordan in practice
 
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BigSoxFan

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This quote is awesome but makes me wonder, you know how we have very high income equality in the USA, have we also reached peak inequality between the average man and the pro athlete? I think the average man is way more of a sack of shit than the average man in the 80s but the athletes are vastly improved (mostly due to drugs but also because all of them are fitness fanatics now and that wasn't universally true before)

edit: someone made a great comment about this snark being what got him popped by Jordan in practice
Great quote by Kerr. I have no problem if someone on the 1985 Lakers, 1986 Celtics, 1996 Bulls, 2000 Lakers, etc. thinks that they'd beat the Warriors. It's a completely subjective argument that has no way of being proven or disproven. But all this "yeah, we'd sweep them" or "we'd dominate them" talk...GTFO. This Warriors team is damn good and wouldn't get swept by the Monstars.
 

chilidawg

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Also this series, the series that has the GSW in the GOAT conversation. I would say dominance from 3 is a huge factor. Sure Clev is attempting the same style, in terms of shooting the 3 a lot, but they are not as good at the most important skill in today's game.

GSW-CLEV
FGA 278-276
3s made 46-31
3PA 104-109
2s made 86-76
3% .422-.298
How did Cleveland go from being so good from the 3 against us and so bad against the Warriors? Better defense?
 

reggiecleveland

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It is a lot easier to score in transition when you get stops. The Celtics shot 43 , Warriors 47 but warriors are shooting 24 fts a games the C's 17. the finals are at about a 90 shot per team pace while the the C's Cavs were at an 80 shot pace. This is a much faster series and the Warriors are getting the Lion's share of transitions chances. The thing that is scary is the Cleveland isn't really turning the ball over like crazy.
Obviously the Warriors are better on d.
 

tbb345

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Eh, nothing personal, but I've been hearing this a lot the last few days, and I mostly call BS (or at least 20:20 hindsight) unless the people now saying it can point to a specific post during the season where they said they clearly said there was *no question* the Warriors would win it all.

Obviously the Ws were favorites (especially among more stat-oriented outfits like 538) but there were plenty of doubters among the punditocracy, and plenty who picked the defending-champion Cavs, especially after they beat the Ws on Christmas, after they signed Korver, after they signed Deron Williams, etc. Barkley and Shaq both picked the Cavs going into the Finals, to name two pundits (though it's debatable if they're "in their right minds.")

Heck, even on this forum, which I think is a pretty good proxy for "sophisticated hoops fans without a horse in the race," the pre-Finals picks were pretty mixed:

2.6% Warriors in 4
24.4% Warriors in 5
37.2% Warriors in 6
15.4% Warriors in 7
0% Cavs in 4
1.3% Cavs in 5
14.1% Cavs in 6
5.1% Cavs in 7

That's 72% who expected a hard-fought series (6 or 7 games), and 20% who expected an outright Cavs win. And heck ... those Cavs-pickers could still be right!

In any case, all this "no question" and "foregone conclusion" stuff kinda reminds me of the dude in the V&N thread who said Trump had a 100% chance of winning the election because he won.
I would say that most that picked the Cavs, especially in the media, were trying to be contrarian or just hoping for competition after the awful series before this. Also, I don't think picking Dubs in 6 means you are picking a hard fought series necessarily.

Out of NBA analysts I follow (Nate Duncan, Danny LeRoux, Simmons, Zach Lowe) all of them picked the Warriors. In fact, Lowe told a story on his podcast with Jeff Van Gundy (another smart media member who has been touting the Warriors invincibility) about how he was thinking about picking the Cavs then talked to a few people around the league who effectively told him "Are you fucking insane?!" Before he picked Warriors in 6.

About the Trump thing, not only is that insulting my intelligence but it's pretty off base. Hillary was the heavy favorite with everyone until pretty much the day of the election when the tide turned and people were left dumbfounded and scrambling for reasons. Someone claiming Trump was always going to win is completely 20/20 hindsight. How exactly is saying a team that was heavily favored in Vegas and among 90% of the actual basketball analysts (not the talking head click bair types) should win the same as that?
 

Soxfan in Fla

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I would say that most that picked the Cavs, especially in the media, were trying to be contrarian or just hoping for competition after the awful series before this. Also, I don't think picking Dubs in 6 means you are picking a hard fought series necessarily.

Out of NBA analysts I follow (Nate Duncan, Danny LeRoux, Simmons, Zach Lowe) all of them picked the Warriors. In fact, Lowe told a story on his podcast with Jeff Van Gundy (another smart media member who has been touting the Warriors invincibility) about how he was thinking about picking the Cavs then talked to a few people around the league who effectively told him "Are you fucking insane?!" Before he picked Warriors in 6.

About the Trump thing, not only is that insulting my intelligence but it's pretty off base. Hillary was the heavy favorite with everyone until pretty much the day of the election when the tide turned and people were left dumbfounded and scrambling for reasons. Someone claiming Trump was always going to win is completely 20/20 hindsight. How exactly is saying a team that was heavily favored in Vegas and among 90% of the actual basketball analysts (not the talking head click bair types) should win the same as that?
There was clearly a shift in the last 2-3 weeks leading up to the election as Hillary was suddenly campaigning in states she had mostly ignored like Wisconsin. That said. I don't think many really thought Trump could win until it started shaking out election night. I think that shift in her campaigning was only really paid attention to by most in the midst of everything going sideways election night.
 

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OK boys, back to the topic. Can't believe I'm actually pulling for the Cavs but there it is. Expecting a 20 blowout by KD and company, hoping for a 2 point win on a last second shot by Love.

 

Sam Ray Not

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I would say that most that picked the Cavs, especially in the media, were trying to be contrarian or just hoping for competition after the awful series before this. Also, I don't think picking Dubs in 6 means you are picking a hard fought series necessarily.

Out of NBA analysts I follow (Nate Duncan, Danny LeRoux, Simmons, Zach Lowe) all of them picked the Warriors. In fact, Lowe told a story on his podcast with Jeff Van Gundy (another smart media member who has been touting the Warriors invincibility) about how he was thinking about picking the Cavs then talked to a few people around the league who effectively told him "Are you fucking insane?!" Before he picked Warriors in 6.

About the Trump thing, not only is that insulting my intelligence but it's pretty off base. Hillary was the heavy favorite with everyone until pretty much the day of the election when the tide turned and people were left dumbfounded and scrambling for reasons. Someone claiming Trump was always going to win is completely 20/20 hindsight. How exactly is saying a team that was heavily favored in Vegas and among 90% of the actual basketball analysts (not the talking head click bair types) should win the same as that?
Yeah, sorry about the imperfect Trump comparison; should have avoided the T word altogether, since that's kind of the current-day equivalent of Godwin's Law. ("As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Twitler approaches one.")

I'll stand by my claim that it's BS and 20:20 hindsight to say the Warriors winning it all was a foregone conclusion (or "there was never any question," as you put it.) Again, there's a huge difference between saying the Warriors have always been favorites against any other single team and saying there was "never any doubt" that they would beat the field.

You brought up the Zach Lowe example: the fact that he hemmed and hawed, ultimately picked the Warriors in a close series under duress from colleagues, and then after two games owned up to being wrong, is pretty clear evidence that there was, in fact, some doubt.

Then there's 538, which uses a stat-based system for predictions, so is a pretty good proxy for "neutral observer without a horse in the race." They currently have the Ws as a 98% shot (so: still some doubt!) but they also do their readers the service of showing what those odds have been at various points throughout the season.

June 4: 94%
May 14: 80%
April 30: 69%
April 14 (before playoffs): 59%
March 26: 49%
March 12: 37%
Jan 8: 40%
Oct 30: 40%
Oct 24 (preseason): 55%

Favorites? Sure. "Never any doubt"? Not even close. (Heck, there's still doubt, else no one here would still be watching...)
 
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Big John

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Push them around a little and commit some hard fouls. The Warriors are not a physically dominant team.

Oh, and while you are at it, shoot 24-45 from beyond the arc, as the Cavs did in game #4.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Push them around a little and commit some hard fouls. The Warriors are not a physically dominant team.

Oh, and while you are at it, shoot 24-45 from beyond the arc, as the Cavs did in game #4.
Saying a Warriors team with Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, David West and even Kevin Durant isn't physically dominant seems off to me.

I know people don't think of them that way but I believe that ex LeBron and Tristan Thompson, the Warriors are far more physical than the Cavs. They are, without question, the better defensive team.
 
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Big John

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Oh, I completely agree that the Warriors are better defensively. I'm just saying that the best chance to beat them is to turn the game into a bit of a brawl, because you certainly aren't going to out-finesse them.
 

Kliq

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I think the best strategy is to find a middle ground between playing with pace and being physical. I kind of understand why Cleveland wants to push the tempo, yes that encourages GS to shoot a ton of threes and get the crowd going, but I think it also encourages them to shoot themselves in the foot. Every time GS loses I feel like it is because they turned the ball over too much, and they also took too many tough shots early in the shot clock. I think if you can get them into that rapid pace, but still commit to playing really physical defense and trapping, you might stand a chance. Sure they might pass out of the double teams and hit a bunch of threes, but you have to gamble to beat a great team.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Even funnier is that those read as if he has an alternate account that he uses to argue with people who criticize him. Otherwise, it's super odd that they're in the 3rd person.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Even funnier is that those read as if he has an alternate account that he uses to argue with people who criticize him. Otherwise, it's super odd that they're in the 3rd person.
Most likely the result of one of his people (his friends or people who handle his social media) posting.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I mean, if you don't like the Warriors, all the things written in black on his new insoles still pretty much apply (maybe add petty, sad, etc). If you're a W fan, or just a KD Stan like Bill Simmons, you care more about the stuff written in yellow.

The premise of this diary — started when the Ws were 15-0 in the playoffs — remains an open and fairly pressing question. After a rather wild off-season, does anyone have any new ideas?
 
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tbb345

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Durant really needs to give it a rest. He accomplished what he set out to do and was awesome while doing it. That doesn't change the fact that a lot of the criticisms about his decision were, and continue to be, right. (specifically "Can't beat them, join them", "superteam", and "bandwagon".)

I posted this in another thread but who exactly is KD supposed to be showing up here? Because he signed with the Warriors there was never really any opportunity for him to have a "redemption tour" or to go around rubbing peoples faces in his success. It was either win a title (where the reaction would be "great, you did what everyone expected you to do") or fall short (where he would have been raked over the coals).
The route he has chosen to take just makes him look completely detached from reality, petty, and (as nighthob pointed out) just sad.
 

BigSoxFan

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He seems to be overly-sensitive because he went from a guy who was basically universally-liked to one who was taking crap from fans of all teams. I don't think he was really prepared for the negative reaction and now he's having trouble letting it go. Not really a good look.

I do find it funny that he's posting his accomplishments from the past Finals, as if people were telling him he'd never win on a loaded Warriors team or saying that he sucked. Like, he basically did everything the detractors said he'd do and is running an awkward victory lap.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Superstar pro athlete surrounded by sycophants misreads public sentiment via a self-centered prism. 30 second autoplay video to follow.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Not from Randy Savage, I'm afraid.
D'oh yeah, good point. :,-(

On a less sad note, how would people rate the Warriors' chances v. the Field going onto this season? My gut sense is on the order of 60-65% — 538 had them at 55% to start last season; and I think this season they have chemistry/continuity on their side as well as a slightly better, deeper roster. With a guarantee of no injuries I might go up as high as 85-90%, but injuries swing things much with far greater frequency than we like to admit (viz. Kawhi last season, Curry/Bogut the season before, Love/Kyrie the season before, etc.)

If you had to plunk down $1000 either on the Warriors at 4/7 (current Vegas odds) or the Field at whatever their odds are, which would you take?
 

JCizzle

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He seems to be overly-sensitive because he went from a guy who was basically universally-liked to one who was taking crap from fans of all teams. I don't think he was really prepared for the negative reaction and now he's having trouble letting it go. Not really a good look.

I do find it funny that he's posting his accomplishments from the past Finals, as if people were telling him he'd never win on a loaded Warriors team or saying that he sucked. Like, he basically did everything the detractors said he'd do and is running an awkward victory lap.
This is a perfect description.
 

reggiecleveland

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Kd reminds me of Magic post 85. Magic was the media darling until he played poorly and the Cs beat them. He was in a state of shock, and played better than ever improving every year until say 88 or so. Kd really did the same thing, except being quiet.
 

djbayko

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D'oh yeah, good point. :,-(

On a less sad note, how would people rate the Warriors' chances v. the Field going onto this season? My gut sense is on the order of 60-65% — 538 had them at 55% to start last season; and I think this season they have chemistry/continuity on their side as well as a slightly better, deeper roster. With a guarantee of no injuries I might go up as high as 85-90%, but injuries swing things much with far greater frequency than we like to admit (viz. Kawhi last season, Curry/Bogut the season before, Love/Kyrie the season before, etc.)

If you had to plunk down $1000 either on the Warriors at 4/7 (current Vegas odds) or the Field at whatever their odds are, which would you take?
I've already put some money on them at -170, but not much because the Finals are so far away and I can earn a lot more with that money between now and then. If you're gonna go for the field, right now Bookmaker probably has the best odds at GS -235 / Field +191.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Petty KD apologizes for being a "total effing idiot."

"I use Twitter to engage with the fans," Durant said Tuesday from the stage of the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco. "I think it's a great way to engage with basketball fans. But I happened to take it a little too far. That's what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates about what I really love, to play basketball.

"I don't regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach's name and the former organization I played for. That was childish. That was idiotic, all those type of words. I regret doing that and I apologize to them for doing that."

To know that I affected Billy Donovan and the Thunder -- like I love those people and I don't never [want to hurt them]."

He told the newspaper that he sent a note of apology to Donovan, but Durant knows that he deserves whatever criticism is coming his way.

"That was just me being a total [expletive] idiot. I own up to it," Durant told USA Today. "I want to move on from it. It probably hit me probably harder than what everybody [thought]. Everybody else was telling me to relax, to snap out of it, but I was really, really upset with myself more than anything. It's not the fact that people were talking about me, because I deserve that, but I'm just more upset with myself that I let myself go that far, you know what I was saying?

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20757602/kevin-durant-sorry-tweets-critical-billy-donovan-thunder
 

InstaFace

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That's one of the most sincere-sounding apologies I've ever heard out of a professional athlete.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If anyone has heard the Simmons podcasts with Durant - and if you a sports fan, let alone NBA fan you should - you would know that the guy is pretty unique. Setting aside what he did via social media - mostly because it was a big nothingburger where nobody really got hurt - the guy has been a model NBA citizen. And in the Simmons podcasts, the guy comes off as very thoughtful, sincere and likable.