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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Blazers keys revisited

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How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Portland?

Photo by Ezra Shaw/undefined

The Golden State Warriors got their lunch money stolen on New Year’s Day by the Portland Trail Blazers, and fell 123-98. Before the game, I laid out my keys to victory; suffice to say, it didn’t go well.

Let’s torture ourselves and revisit them, shall we?

Play with energy

The key: Bring energy and commitment for a full 48 minutes, or at least three quarters.

The outcome: Here’s what Steve Kerr said afterwards: “The start of the game was disappointing, we just didn’t have very much energy … I didn’t like our overall engagement, our mentality.”

That kind of says it all. The Warriors got punched in the mouth, and didn’t really do much about it.

In their defense, they kept their foot on the gas in the third and even fourth quarters. But it was just a lackluster effort.

Grading the key: 3 out of 10

Solid Steph defense

The key: Steph Curry play solid defense on Portland’s guards, and keep CJ McCollum from erupting.

The outcome: CJ McCollum definitely erupted. He made four three-pointers in the opening minutes and seemed to seal the game before the first quarter ended.

I thought Curry played fine defense, but fine isn’t good enough against arguably the best offensive backcourt in the league. In Curry’s defense, however, his teammates didn’t do so well either.

Grading the key: 3.5 out of 10

K.I.S.S.

The key: Keep it simple with the offensive plays, and rely on things that work.

The outcome: After the Detroit game, Steve Kerr admitted that he had spent too much time focusing on complex off-ball and motion offense elements, and that he needed to simplify things.

That didn’t happen.

Grading the key: 1 out of 10

Transition opportunities

The key: Get out in transition on offense.

The outcome: The Warriors had 17 points in transition, to just 11 for Portland. And it likely would have been more had their defense actually generated stops.

They did a pretty decent job pushing when they could, and it created some of their best looks on offense.

Grading the key: 6 out of 10

Better luck Sunday. Please.