Game 1 of the Warriors-Pelicans was quite a chess match. In the first quarter, the Warriors and Pelicans traded baskets and defensive breakdowns to play mostly even. In the second quarter, the Warriors finally broke open the game with a long run giving them a twenty point lead, and the game wasn’t close after that. How did they do it?
The key strategic change was that Draymond Green and the Warriors defense started giving Rajon Rondo and Solomon Hill the Tony Allen treatment. You may remember this from when GSW came back in 2015 against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 by throwing a special defense against Tony Allen. Basically, Andrew Bogut (and Green) would be assigned to Allen but would roam freely off him to help on others. Allen could not punish them by hitting the open shots and this threw the Grizzlies offense into such disarray that they actually took Allen off the court. He had been terrorizing Klay Thompson with his defense, and this loosened up the whole Warriors attack.
In Game 1, the Warriors gave the Tony Allen treament (which i now dub “tonying”) to Rajon Rondo and Solomon Hill. This gummed up the Pelicans offense and took Davis out of the game figuratively and the other Pelicans couldn’t hit any shots to punish the Warriors. And lineups with both Rondo and Hill were extra gummed-up. In the second half, Draymond stopped tonying — why give the Pelicans practice against it? — and the damage had been done.
Here is a short film about it. As a bonus, we look at how the Pelicans also tonyed Kevon Looney. However, the Warriors creatively made them pay for it.
How the Warriors stopped Anthony Davis
Watch how in Game 1 Draymond Green and the GSW defense used the Tony Allen treatment to put the clamps on the red-hot Anthony Davis and Pelicans. Co-starring Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Rajon Rondo. By @EricApricot. More videos and full articles at tinyurl.com/ericapricotPosted by Golden State of Mind on Monday, April 30, 2018
This will force Gentry to play lineups with only one non-shooter at a time at most and also force them to make strategic adjustments. Here are some potential moves:
- Get the ball to Davis more on the move, cutting and curling at the elbow.
- Have Rondo aggressively flare screen for shooters when he’s tonyed.
- Davis get his post-ups by cutting straight down the lane to give himself a side to spin to.