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Explain One Play: Curry stops Harden but W’s end sloppy

Video analysis of how Warriors sloppiness gave away the game, and wasted Curry’s stops of Harden down the stretch, in the Rockets-Warriors game on October 17, 2017.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors
working off our vacation fat
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Warriors lost to Houston on opening night, wasting a wild effort from Nick Young, many unexpected minutes from the youngsters Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney, and almost overcoming injuries to Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

I made a little movie looking at the key plays down the stretch. You’ll see:

  • Patrick McCaw almost hit the deciding basket, getting the open corner shot from the gravity of Stephen Curry. Good job by the sophomore, who is shooting more assertively. Shaun Livingston plays the role of Draymond Green and screens for Curry. They get away with it this play, but not later.
  • Curry steps up to the isolation challenge of James Harden and stops him. Unfortunately, sloppy, tired rebounding and a soft foul call gives the deciding points to the Rockets.
  • Livingston sets the high screen for Curry, but he can’t handle the release pass to a short roll (he doesn’t really roll, and looks like he’s signaling some other play)
  • Curry again steps up and stops and isolation from Harden. Pretty good for a guy with bad defense, huh?
  • On the last play, Curry could have had an open shot, but Kevin Durant, instead of setting a solid screen, slips and runs right into where Curry wants to go. That’s a bug in the play. Durant (8 turnovers?!) almost makes it up, but is too late.

Final Thoughts

Oh well, that’s life. It was better than last year’s complete opening day humiliation by the Spurs. The Rockets made tough shots, played good half-court defense, and got some lucky breaks. The Warriors got completely messed up by foul trouble and injuries.

Jordan Bell looked better than you’d expect given that it’s HIS FIRST PRO GAME. But he still got roasted by some great isolation moves, so he’ll have to watch film and improve. He made rotation mistakes here and there, but generally looked very fluent in the system.

Kevon Looney looked less fluent, and since Kerr — in his perverse Strength In Numbers way — put him in the crunch time lineup, he had some costly rotation mistakes.


If you came here on weak tea AMP, you won’t see the poll or comments. Reload this at and get the full experience.

So you know that I never used to do E1P after a loss before, right?


How does it feel to have Explain One Play after a loss?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    A pleasant surprise, keep it coming
    (197 votes)
  • 33%
    It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us. - Walt Whitman (you could look it up)
    (116 votes)
  • 4%
    This is like salt in our wounds, let us be
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    You should have Fake Steve Kerr mailbag instead after losses..
    (19 votes)
349 votes total Vote Now

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