Well that was fun.
So how did they do with their pregame keys to victory? You’re probably thinking pretty well, and ... well ... you’re correct.
Speed it up
The key: Play up tempo and let the offense find rhythm with transition buckets and early shot clock opportunities.
The outcome: The Warriors recorded 21 points in transition, but I think that undersells their success a little bit. The got out and ran, and even when the shots weren’t there, used it to take advantage of a mismatch or a scattered defense. The worked quickly to keep San Antonio on their heels, and struck when the right opportunity presented itself.
It went well.
Grading the key: 8 out of 10.
Steph gonna Steph
The key: Make sure it’s Steph Curry’s world, and everyone else is just living in it.
The outcome: Oh yeah, that one worked well.
Curry actually had his fewest shooting possessions of the season, with just 16 shot attempts and a pair of free throws. Part of that was due to only playing a short stint in the fourth quarter, but most of it was due to the team’s offensive rhythm.
But all offensive rhythm begins with Curry, and he was magnificent. He shot 10-for-17, including 4-for-8 from deep, en route to 26 points. He dished out 7 assists. The Dubs outscored the Spurs by 30 points when he was on the court.
The offense worked through him, and he was the focal point in the best possible way, just as it should be every night.
Grading the key: 8.5 out of 10.
The key: Don’t let DeMar DeRozan live at the free throw line, or at the rim.
The outcome: Success. Kind of. DeRozan did get to the line quite a bit, as he shot 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.
But the Warriors limited his shots at the rim, and most importantly, just limited his shots period.
It never felt like DeRozan was in any sort of rhythm, even though he got to the line a bit.
Grading the key: 6 out of 10.
The Warriors did well with their keys to victory. They should consider doing the same tonight.