Fresh off their first three-game winning streak of the season, the Golden State Warriors put together one of their most disappointing performances of the year on Sunday night, getting blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers 117-91 in a game that was never close.
It follows that the Warriors didn’t do well with their pregame keys to victory, but let’s revisit them nonetheless. For the morbidly curious.
Keys to the game:— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) March 1, 2021
• Don't let Dennis Schröder play like an All-Star
• Hold LeBron James to moderate efficiency
• Steph Curry explosion
• Don't get obliterated when Steph is on the bench
The key: Don’t let Dennis Schröder play like an All-Star.
The outcome: It might seem weird for people who have followed most of Dennis Schröder’s career, but he’s been utterly sensational this year. So sensational, that when I interviewed my colleague, Lakers writer Harrison Faigen ahead of this game, he changed his pick from Warriors to Lakers after seeing how Schröder looked in his return to the lineup on Friday.
Harrison’s a smart man. Schröder shot just 3-for-9, but his 12 points and 6 assists led to a game-leading plus-minus of +32.
Grading the key: 3 out of 10
Keep LBJ at bay
The key: Hold LeBron James to moderate efficiency.
The outcome: James didn’t score much, because he didn’t play much, because the game wasn’t close. But he still finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting, and went 3-for-5 from deep. That’s mighty efficient.
Grading the key: 1.5 out of 10.
The key: Steph Curry explosion.
The outcome: I think Steve Kerr said it best after the game.
How would Steve Kerr sum up Steph Curry's performance tonight? "Uhhhhh ... he was fine. I mean, he didn't play great, he didn't play poorly. We got blown out and ... whatever."— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) March 1, 2021
Curry had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals, and shot 5-for-13 from the field and 2-for-7 from distance. Fine, but not great.
Grading the key: 3.5 out of 10.
The key: Don’t get obliterated when Steph is on the bench.
The outcome: The Warriors were outscored 24 points in Curry’s 26 minutes. They were outscored by just 1 point in the 22 minutes he sat.
A bit of that came in garbage time, but the bench wasn’t horrible, even at the dreaded start of the second quarter. In those seven minutes while Curry and Draymond Green sat, the deficit grew from 20 to 26.
Grading the key: 5.5 out of 10.
Well that wasn’t good, was it?