Tuesday night’s Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets came down to the final possession. Down two, the Warriors got the ball back on a rebound with just over 10 seconds remaining, and a prime opportunity to tie or win the game.
Kevin Durant brought the ball down the court, and ultimately passed to a well-guarded Klay Thompson. Thompson tried to drive and create space, couldn’t achieve any, and forced up a shot that badly missed.
Since things didn’t work in Golden State’s favor, there’s been a lot of second guessing their decision to bring the ball up in rhythm rather than calling a timeout. So, was it smart of them to not call a timeout?
Yes. And no.
It was almost surely a smart move by Steve Kerr and Co. to not initially call for a timeout. It’s an antiquated approach to call a timeout for the final possession, and really it only serves to let the defense scheme, reset, and get their best personnel on the floor. Keeping the action in rhythm allowed the team to possibly get something in transition, or at least get a mismatch.
It’s a smart move.
But once Thompson was trapped, without his dribble, the offense was in a world of hurt. The Warriors were essentially out of options, but still with about four seconds left on the clock.
In fairness, Golden State did try and call timeout. Both Kerr and Draymond Green signaled for time, but it was, for lack of a better word, a rather lame attempt. The refs were, understandably, watching the play, and neither Kerr nor Green mad a particularly strong attempt to get attention.
After the game, Kerr explained the situation:
And in the words of Stephen Curry:
Steph Curry on the late possession: "I heard Draymond yelling for a timeout. Klay thought he could get a shot off. It's basketball. So many bang, bang plays."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 23, 2018
That timeout would have been nice to secure, but it’s hard to find fault. Kerr certainly made the right move by letting the team go with the flow, but unfortunately the execution simply wasn’t there.
Who was your Warrior Wonder for game 4 against the Rockets?
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Nick Young (aka, I’m a Rockets fan)
Shaun Livingston’s dunk on Capela
That classic 3rd quarter splash fest