A big part of the Warriors’ success has come from its pioneering switching defense. When working properly, the GSW D has sharp communication and is flexible enough to switch screens to defuse any offensive threat from screens. However, with all the injuries (last night, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia and Shaun Livingston were all out), head coach Steve Kerr has been shuffling new and interesting lineups. That means lineups that aren’t used to communicating and reading each other during high pressure switching maneuvers.
I made a video of the defense in the last few plays in overtime. Andre Iguodala was unusually grouchy, and he had a vigorous argument with officials about not getting jump ball calls. Probably all the switching mistakes made him grouchy too.
And without making a big deal about it, I note Kevin Durant is right in the middle of the major switching mistakes. He had a very heavy offensive load tonight, being the only one who could create a shot and also having a terrible shooting night, and his focus on defense was not there on switches. He has had a spectacular year on defense with highlight blocks and intimidation, but he’s continued to have lapses and mistakes in the less spectacular parts of the defensive game.
Here’s the video. Watch the Warriors hang on to barely win in overtime, while Andre Iguodala fumes and the defense gets repeatedly mixed up switching. Co-starring Kevin Durant, Patrick McCaw, Jordan Bell and David West.