Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns Synergy Recap: Steve Nash Performs Pretty Good at Pick and Roll

For the third game in a row, a member of the Warriors' "Big 3" (insert your own quip here) was missing. This time it was David Lee's turn to force us to wonder how much he's worth. Let's see if Synergy can help answer that question. Warning: The following post may contain conclusions that are jumped to and sample sizes that could star in a Broadway production.

First, let's take a look at the expected Synergy stats, using data from last season.

Expected Synergy

Click on a tile to pop-up the % and PPP for that play type.

GSW

PHI

PLAY

%

PPP

%

PPP

ALL

100

0.95

100

0.96

BALL

12.2%

0.87

11.5%

0.81

CUT

8.0%

1.24

8.0%

1.21

HAND

2.2%

0.93

1.9%

0.92

ISO

13.2%

0.85

9.7%

0.84

OTHER

6.5%

0.42

7.1%

0.48

POST

7.7%

0.85

9.2%

0.90

REB

6.0%

1.02

5.6%

1.10

ROLL

4.8%

1.00

5.8%

1.11

SCREEN

4.6%

0.90

5.0%

0.88

SPOT

20.5%

1.03

20.9%

1.05

TRANS

12.4%

1.17

13.1%

1.14

Based on prior expectations, Phoenix and GSW actually appear fairly similar on offense. Now, let's look at what happened in yesterday's affair (not to remember).

Game Synergy (GSW @ PHO)

Click on a tile to pop-up the % and PPP for that play type.

PHI@GSW

GSW

PHO

%

#

PPP

%

#

PPP

ALL

100.0%

97

0.89

100.0%

105

0.97

BALL

13.4%

13

0.38

10.5%

11

1.55

CUT

12.4%

12

1.17

7.6%

8

1.00

HAND

1.0%

1

0.00

0.0%

0

N/A

ISO

11.3%

11

0.73

8.6%

9

0.89

OTHER

8.2%

8

0.25

3.8%

4

0.50

POST

10.3%

10

0.90

16.2%

17

1.00

REB

5.2%

5

0.80

9.5%

10

0.70

ROLL

5.2%

5

1.00

3.8%

4

1.00

SCREEN

4.1%

4

1.25

1.9%

2

1.00

SPOT

24.7%

24

1.25

26.7%

28

1.04

TRANS

4.1%

4

1.00

11.4%

12

0.67

Discussion

Overall, the Suns performed pretty much right at expectations. Whatever efficiency they lacked on transition offense (0.67 PPP), they more than made up for on the pick and roll (1.55 PPP), with Nash hitting a bunch of clutch shots. To these eyes, it appeared that Curry was mostly to blame for not being able to stick with Nash late in the game. I assume his ankle is still bothering him, but, of course, WE ARE A NO EXCUSES BASKETBALL TEAM. While the Suns killed us on the PNR, on our side, not so much. Our BALL efficiency was much lower than expected, a measly 0.38 PPP. Woeful. So, overall, our defense was not quite as vaunted as Mark Jackson would want, and our offense appears to have taken a step back from last season. Based on the last three games (I know, small sample size, but still...), it really does look like Curry, Ellis, and Lee, are the core of this team the way it is currently constructed. With all three, we are about an average team (yay?), but if any one of them is out, it could be tough sledding.

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