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Explain One Play: Curry & Green two-for-one closes out the series

The Dubs ended the 3rd quarter with a stunning two-for-one which basically finished things in Game Four against the Utah Jazz.

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors - Game One
what are you doing, man, I thought YOU knew how to salsa!
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Check the glossary for unfamiliar terms!

The Warriors came out with a huge uppercut in the first quarter jumping out to a twenty point lead, but the Jazz did not fold. They chipped away and took advantage of a horrible 2nd quarter by the second unit to hover around a 6 to 8 point deficit through the 3rd. The crowd seemed ready to explode if the Jazz could just get over the hump and get it to within one possession.

Instead, the Warriors ended the third quarter with a stunning two-for-one to turn a tight 8 point lead into a comfortable 14 point lead in 43 seconds of game clock.

(A two-for-one happens at the end of a quarter when a team tries to shoot with around 30 seconds left, ensuring that the opponents will be forced to shoot the ball with more than 6 seconds left, giving the team a second shot to end the quarter.)

The first play have Draymond Green setting a high pick for Stephen Curry. This forces Derrick Favors to step out and switch onto Curry. Green clears out and Dante Exum actually follows him.

Favors is a talented big he came back quickly from a left knee injury and probably isn’t a full speed. So Curry toys with Favors for a while...

...until side-stepping into an open 3. This year, Curry has been working on shooting when the defender has his hands down, even when the defender is close, and this was another example.

After the W’s get a stop, they now have ten seconds for the “two”. This ends up being the same play with Curry getting a high pick from Green. This time, the Jazz defend it differently. Instead of leaving Favors out on an island with Curry, Dante Exum jumps out to double team Curry. Curry passes out of the double team, the correct play as there should now be a 4-on-3 away from the double team.

We’ve seen Green run the 4-on-3 many times (compare this old E1P), but I’ve never seen it defended like this.

First, Exum does a nice job of hauling butt out of the double team back to Green. Second, TWO Jazz players blitz Green at the top of the key. This is normally a terrible idea, because it leaves three Jazzmen blitzing Green and THREE Warriors completely open. We have Matt Barnes on the right wing for an open three, Shaun Livingston under the basket for a dunk, and Andre Iguodala on the left wing for an open three.

How could the Jazz be so irresponsible? They know there are three seconds on the shot clock and they haven’t been blitzing the roll man, so they are counting on Green to panic under the surprise and time pressure. Instead, he actually manages to jump to pass to Livingston under the basket, and then see that Joe Johnson is helping on Livingston so he changes IN MID-JUMP, to redirect to Iguodala on the left wing. Swish, and the Jazz never make a push after that.

The game tweets

BTW this play was a request:

And, I’ve pinned this tweet to my profile:


Who is the hardest potential WCF Warriors matchup?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Houston Rockets, and they will reach the WCF
    (132 votes)
  • 20%
    Houston Rockets, but they will miss the WCF
    (171 votes)
  • 12%
    San Antonio Spurs, but they will miss the WCF
    (100 votes)
  • 31%
    San Antonio Spurs, and they will reach the WCF
    (260 votes)
  • 19%
    Motiejunas’s sweat is undefeated
    (164 votes)
827 votes total Vote Now

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