Stephen Curry dropped 48 points on 17-32 shooting from the field and 11-of-19 from deep while Kevin Durant poured in 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Here are three observations from last nights game.
Right Energy On Defense
The Warriors set the tone by opening the first quarter with solid and sharp defense. The Warriors were getting early stops, and hustling in transition. Draymond Green made Luka Doncic work for his 29 points, forcing the rookie of the year front runner into tough, contested shots in the lane. Kevin Durant was also engaged on defense. He blocked a Doncic three and got an easy dunk in transition.
The Warriors also forced 12 turnovers and won a battle of attrition in transition defense only surrendering 21 points in comparison to 32 against Sacramento a week ago. The Warriors were also diligent to keep Dallas from the free throw line in the first half.
In addition to the Dub’s hustle, what impressed me was the fact that they had enough of focus and awareness to make a slight adjustment in the second half. Dallas made a point to go at Curry defensively in the first half with Wesley Matthews. In the second half, Curry played solid denial defense and ended up with a steal and two blocks.
Green also came up huge in the clutch defensively when he got a critical block on Doncic in crunch time to help seal the game. All in all, a great effort and step in the right directions as it pertains to developing good habits in the season’s second half.
No More Stagger?
If you haven’t noticed, Curry has sat in the second and fourth quarters during the past two games including last night. Curry played all but the final 36 seconds of the first quarter, while Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, Green and Jonas Jerebko started in the second and fourth quarter. Curry entered with 7:09 left in the first half and was on the floor with 8 minutes remaining in the game.
The impending return of DeMarcus Cousins was a factor in the new rotation.
“We want to look at something obviously a little different,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the San Jose Mercury’s Mark Medina, “With his (Cousins’) presence, it would be easier to make that adjust off that current rotation.”
Meanwhile, Curry believes he too has to make some slight adjustments for his return to his usual rotation.
Steph Curry is back to his more normal rotation pattern: “I gotta get in shape, man.” pic.twitter.com/sRKi9G0LgL— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 14, 2019
Durant Calls An Audible: “No , no — just flip it”
Kerr called plays for Durant during the game but he wanted the Warriors to feed Curry’s hot hand instead. This revelation could be viewed in two different ways, and there’s not really a right a wrong answer. The move is definitely up for interpretation.
On one hand, the move is a testament to the Warriors open and collaborative culture. On the other hand, you could also look at the this move and wonder why Durant had to lobby for Curry to get the ball in the first place.
Here are few reactions:
And somehow in Kerr's mind, it's KD's "unselfishness" that "allowed" Curry to have a big night lol— Jim Park (@Sheridanblog) January 14, 2019
You know what at this point, I have to pause here and ask - is Kerr really that dumb and unaware? I waver back and forth of whether he’s way smarter or dumber than all of us.— kenny (@kennyworkz) January 14, 2019
It’s a damn shame that KD has to be the one to tell KERR to give curry the ball. Smfh. Kerr is so overated— They got me confused (@Oknowletstalk) January 14, 2019
So, what do you think Dub Nation? What is your perspective on KD lobbying to Kerr? Is it a testament to the culture of the team or a blatant example of Kerr taking Curry for granted?
Let me know in the comments.