First strike, Warriors. In our micro preview in Explain One Play: The Blueprint to Wins Without Curry, we said:
it's a matter of survival to follow a blueprint to winning without Curry. Here it is.
- gritty switching defense (with goalie backup) to keep them in games
- fast break opportunities off stops
- Klay shooting streaks to get separation
- making simple plays to reduce turnovers
- post up smaller defenders to pass to cutters (and score)
- motion offense to pick on weak defenders without ISOs
On the face of it, the Blazers have vulnerabilities similar to the Rockets'. They have defenders in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who are so-so defenders on-ball and quite distractible off-ball. Expect to see the offense force them to play alert off-ball defense on whoever they guard, and for them to be posted up often. On offense, the Blazers can possibly be reduced to a spread-pick-and-roll team by having the Warriors switch all screens. And expect to see occasional double teams of ball handlers if the switch + goalie scheme isn't containing their high scoring backcourt.