Move #1. Draymond Green Guards AD One On One (With Backup)
After 2 games, Anthony Davis: VS. DRAYMOND GREEN 18 points 6-18 FGs 4 turnovers AWAY FROM GREEN 43 points 16-27 FGs 3 turnovers
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) April 22, 2015
Move #2. AD At The Elbow Isolates Against Green
Move #3A. AD Gets Off-Ball Screens To Get Rid of Green
So, Game 1 ended with AD effectively neutralized. He only got points in garbage time, but the Pels saw something they tried to exploit more in Game 2. Mainly, having people set off-ball screens on Draymond Green to force someone else to guard AD.
For instance, at the beginning of this play, Green (of course) is guarding AD. By the end of it, Bogut is out on AD in space, and AD drains a jumper. What happened? Watch and focus on AD the whole play through.
You see AD sets up on the right side, and Asik comes over to set a cross-screen on Green. AD now strolls across the lane and Bogut has to pick him up. Judging from how long it too for Green to get around the screen, I suspect Asik helped Green hang around with some loving hugging arms.
Move #3B. AD Gets The Ball in the Middle at the Free Throw Line
Okay, so we've seen the elbow ISO simply does not work for AD against Green and his Village of Goalies. In Game 2, the Pels abandoned that set, except occasionally against Speights and other lesser defenders.
Notice where AD catches the ball here, and look for where the goalie is.
AD catches it in the middle of the court (not the elbows). The Goalie should be Marreese Speights, who is stuck on the right side of the lane, so AD drives left. Barbosa follows his man, either unaware of the Davis freight train behind him, or perhaps knowing he will be crushed if he tries to play goalie.
When AD gets it at the elbows (above), the D can guide him to a goalie at one side of the low block. When he gets it in the middle, he can choose which side to go and avoid a goalie.
Here's another play where the Pels get AD the ball in the middle with a very nice pick and roll action, then reset and get him the ball AGAIN in the middle. Where are the goalies?
The closest thing to goalies on the court are Barnes (on the right side) and Andre (who hasn't really taken contact in two years), so AD drives left, blowing by Bogut while Barbosa stays with his man to ensure no open three pointer and, of course, his own physical safety.
Move #3C. AD Cuts Down Middle From FT Line
The muffed first play in #3B was a kind of pick and roll between AD and Norris Cole, where AD is supposed to get the ball at the Free Throw line. It's worth re-watching with this in mind. The Pels are taking advantage of the Warriors' ICE pick and roll defense scheme. The defender drives the ball handler away from the middle towards a goalie who sags into the lane away from the big (AD). In this case, the goalie is Bogut. This leaves open a bounce pass to AD with momentum at the free throw line in space.
Here's another one which is only thwarted by Ezeli's being aware and very large.
Here the Pels pass to AD again cutting down the lane. Notice how he wanders up to the free throw line to get a headstart.
The Pels drive on the wing, which causes Green to anticipate cutting off at the baseline. Instead, AD gears up for takeoff. Green shoves Andre Iguodala towards AD to stop the feed at the free throw line, but it's too late. Green slams the ball at the end... I think he knows he shouldn't have left AD.
Here are the two flavors together. See if you can see Move 3A, 3B and 3C in this same clip.
You'll see Asik bulldozer Klay and then buzz Green with an off-ball screen (3A). Green calls for Klay to switch (rashly, unnecessarily). Then AD swats Klay away like a fly, gets the ball at the free throw line in motion (3B & 3C) and gets fouled.
Move #4. ???
So, it's still early in the series, and we've seen Kerr throw an excellent defense that is containing AD (when Green is around to lead it), and Monty W counter with sets that put Davis in the middle of the court, in motion and when possible with Green switched off of him.
I'm eager to see what new wrinkles the coaches put in. I would think Kerr would be relatively happy with the D on AD, but possibly cooking up a different help scheme.
The Dubs can get some simple wins by not going under screens on the perimeter (Curry let Gordon have two open 3s in the first quarter that put them in a hole), and tightening up to switch off AD only when necessary. The Dubs might not ICE pick and rolls in order to stop the passes to AD down the lane. Or, when AD gets the ball in the middle, the W's might force him to one side.
I'd guess the biggest adjustments from the W's won't be on defense, but rather on offense to try to either shake Curry free of the bumps and swarming, or force the Pels to overcommit to Steph Curry to free up others.
In any case, I think the twists haven't stopped coming, and if there are interesting ones to report, we'll check in after Game 4.