So, that's life without Stephen Curry, huh? Against a good Hawks defense, the Warriors had to scrap for every point. 19 offensive boards offset a very inefficient offense (39.4% from the field??), even though the Warriors patiently ran plays almost every time down.
Looked at another way, the Warriors without Stephen Curry (and Andre Iguodala) grinded out enough offense through grit and system to stay even at home with a good but not great Hawks team. If they do this with Curry in there, Steph usually generates outside of the system about 10-15 amazing points per night, which would have turned this into a comfortable if not dominant win. That's your basic Warriors formula right there.
Anyway, let's look at the key play in overtime, which put away a Hawks team which certainly played well enough to win. There's just under a minute left. The Hawks have sliced the lead to 1 point, GSW 104-103.
The Warriors offense has looked dreadful since halftime. They need a good possession, so they call a good old reliable play. Let's roll tape and see if you can recognize it.
Yes, this is the Warriors Weave. (Discussed in detail here: Explain One Play: Warriors Weave a Shaun Livingston 3.) Super short summary: when the Weaving starts, the play always ends up in a pick and roll between the two low players on the left. In this case, that means a Klay Thompson-Andrew Bogut pick and roll. (This is the most common outcome of this play in general.) The Hawks switch everything, meaning they trade defensive assignments as soon as each Warrior sets a screen, so Klay ends up being guarded by Al Horford.
This, in theory, is a mismatch, so Klay attacks Horford off the dribble. In the meantime, Bogut rolls down the lane, in theory dragging Kent Bazemore with him. However, the Hawks have been blitzing Klay with double teams all day, counting on his decision making to be worse than Curry's, and they do the same here. Bazemore comes to double team Klay.
This leaves Bogut open with a free run to the basket. Now unfortunately, Klay makes decisions at human speeds and isn't used to being doubled. So he takes an extra dribble which gives Horford a second to catch up. If this were Steph Curry getting doubled, he would have probably hit Bogut with a pass down the lane. But Mr. Flashy-Eye-Gear-Reflex Man is out, so the Warriors are doing their best with Mr. Big Smokey. Klay tries to hit Bogut anyway. He somehow sneaks a pass to Bogut, which he bobbles. Bogut is also double teamed. How? Draymond Green's defender Millsap feels free to leave him alone at the arc, since he's only made one three since the All-Star Break (or something like that) and many of his misses have almost injured people as they ricochet off the rim and backboard.
Somehow, Bogut squirts a weak pass towards Draymond. Bazemore sees the play developing and smartly goes to intercept, knowing that Draymond has no time to swing to the now-open Klay. But The Baze can't quite get there in time. Draymond fires up the desparation shot and cans his second three. Very fortunate shot. Let's hope this helps restore some confidence in Draymond's jumper.
VIDEO: Draymond on the shotclock-beating 3: "I've put enough time in to put confidence in my shot" (0:36) https://t.co/1NqVD4Tmq6 #Warriors— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) March 2, 2016
VIDEO: Kerr on Green's shotclock-beating 3: "The big thing was, it was clock awareness...Draymond was due" (0:47) https://t.co/CxPQSexJF6
— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) March 2, 2016
VIDEO: Kerr on Green's shotclock-beating 3: "The big thing was, it was clock awareness...Draymond was due" (0:47) https://t.co/CxPQSexJF6— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) March 2, 2016
Really good win for the team. Bogut came up big. He had a generally strong game defensively, hit his shots, including free throws (what's up with that??), and a huge putback in OT (aided by his smashing Millsap out of the way). Those free throws were the Basketball Gods calling shenanigans on this ridiculous "fouling before inbounding" crap. And it's just a bad move to hack-an-aussie when the game is tied and the Warriors offense is looking tubercular.
Leandro Barbosa played the God of Chaos effectively, and Marresse Speights hit a couple of found money 3s. Anderson Varejao played hard, but let Horford walk by him for a massive dunk and continues his streak of wildly missing layups.
Draymond's disappearing three point shot is a serious issue. You can see how it allows his man to help out in the paint if he's not going to be a threat out there. Klay's ball handling has improved from last year (right after this shot he clinched the game with a nice drive to a stepback short jumper), but he isn't yet a strong decision maker on the drive.
The Hawks and Warriors have smart defenses, which means they can disrupt each other's offensive systems, which rely on out-clevering defenses with cuts and screens. Curry's the X Factor, and without him, the Warriors are basically the Hawks with less shooting/driving and a bit more defense. I've long held that the Warriors are around a .500 team without Curry. I still would like to never have any more evidence on this point.
Not a lot of regrets about this Warriors team, but we probably would prefer to have Bazemore instead of Ian Clark or Brandon Rush right now, huh? That painful trade for Steve Blake looked bad even in the dying gasps of the Mark Jackson regime, and it looks worse all the time.
Last random thought: are these passive games reducing Barnes's price on the open market?