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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Celtics keys revisited

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

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors dropped a close and exciting game to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, 111-107. There’s no shame in losing a close one to a good Boston team, especially since the Warriors lost Kevon Looney to injury during the game.

There were things to like and things to dislike, so let’s revisit the pregame keys to victory.


The key: Don’t get hammered on the glass against the Celtics much bigger lineup.

The outcome: The Warriors were dealt a blow when Looney sprained his ankle after James Wiseman had already been ruled out of the game. And it showed up on the stat sheet, as the Dubs were out-rebounded 51-36, and 12-6 on the offensive glass.

Most concerning was the lack of glass cleaning from the big men. The Warriors only grabbed 36 boards, but 11 of them came from Steph Curry. Draymond Green did his part, also grabbing 11, but the rest of the bigs struggled. Looney had 3 in 13 minutes, and Eric Paschall didn’t grab a single board in 14 minutes.

Rebounding remains a weakness for this team, which shouldn’t be a surprise give how often they play small. But they do need some players to step up more on that front.

Grading the key: 2 out of 10.

Small centers

The key: Find advantages with Eric Paschall and/or Draymond Green as small ball 5s.

The outcome: Paschall has been struggling mightily in his last few games, and against Boston he put in one of his worst performances of the season. He had 5 points on 1-for-4 shooting, and went 3-for-6 from the line. He failed to record a rebound, assist, steal, or block, and the Warriors were outscored by 8 points in his minutes.

Green was much better, with a stat line so Draymondian that it was almost satirical: 2 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He had some issues (he shot just 1-for-7, and had 5 turnovers and 5 fouls), but he was clearly one of the Dubs best players. Some of those minutes came as a 4, but many of them as a 5.

Grading the key: 5 out of 10.

Ball movement

The key: Ample off ball movement to open up the floor for Steph Curry, and keep the ball moving.

The outcome: The Warriors ball movement was encouraging, especially against a good defensive team. The ball moved around nicely, and usually found the right hands. Steph Curry got going early, which is always a great sign, and the team had 30 assists on 38 made baskets. They shot 45.8% from the field and 40.5% from beyond the arc, and had very few wasted possessions.

Grading the key: 8 out of 10.

Limit Kemba

The key: Don’t let Kemba Walker be a third star on the floor for Boston.

The outcome: Walker has struggled with efficiency since returning from injury, and the Dubs kept that trend going. He shot just 6-for-18 from the field, and finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 0 turnovers.

He had a nice game, but it wasn’t exactly a star performance.

Grading the key: 7 out of 10.

Well ... they did some things well, and some things poorly. And that put them in a position to win or lose. And they lost.

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