Well, that was fun. The Golden State Warriors put on both a show and a clinic against the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 129-98 in a game where Steph Curry and Draymond Green looked like the two best players in the league.
But how did they do with their pregame keys to victory? It doesn’t matter, because a 31-point win is a 31-point win.
Let’s revisit anyway...
Be aggressive. Be, be aggressive.
The key: Be aggressive offensively and don’t just settle for threes all day.
The outcome: The Warriors were extremely aggressive offensively. They took a lot of threes (37), but taking a lot of threes is a good thing. The key is that they must be good threes, and not just settling.
The Dubs moved the ball, cut, drove, and found the right players. It made for a diverse offensive explosion, with 31 points in transition, 51 points from beyond the arc, and 54 points in the paint.
It was at times mesmerizing and, more importantly, effective.
Grading the key: 9 out of 10.
The key: Hold their own on the glass.
The outcome: The Warriors were at a severe height disadvantage, with no one occupying the same area code as Jarrett Allen or JaVale McGee.
And as a result, they got outrebounded by 10 boards, despite having way more defensive rebounding opportunities than the Cavs. In fact, Cleveland outrebounded Golden State by 10 on the offensive glass alone.
The Warriors made up for it by forcing more turnovers, playing strong defense, and playing at-times impeccable offense, but it wasn’t a great rebounding showing ... which is to be expected when your starting center is 6’6”.
Grading the key: 3 out of 10.
The key: Don’t get demolished in the bench minutes.
The outcome: Things went briefly south in the second quarter, before the ship was righted.
Let’s look at the plus/minus for the Warriors five bench players:
Mychal Mulder: +6
Eric Paschall: +11
Brad Wanamaker: +11
Damion Lee: +15
Kent Bazemore: +24
Yep, that works.
Grading the key: 9.5 out of 10.
The key: Disciplined and efficient games from Kelly Oubre Jr. and/or Andrew Wiggins.
The outcome: This one was a bit hit and miss. There was a lot of defensive discipline from the Warriors starting wings, and they both impressed on that end of the court.
Offensively it wasn’t as disciplined. Oubre took a handful of questionable shots, and Wiggins had 5 turnovers — his highest total of the season.
It also wasn’t an efficient night for the pair, as Wiggins had 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting and Oubre had 14 on 6-for-14.
They both contributed to the win, but were lucky that the Warriors didn’t need more from them.
Grading the key: 4 out of 10.
Good enough for a 31-point win is good enough for me.