The Golden State Warriors set the tone for this series early as they beat the Dallas Mavericks in a 112-87 blowout victory during Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors offense did just enough to get through the game, but it was their defense that got it done as they effectively shut down Luka Doncic and the Mavs en route to a 25 point victory.
Here are some of the takeaways from the Warriors postgame pressers:
Steph Curry: “Wiggs was relentless”
The big question coming into Wednesday’s game was who will get the difficult assignment of defending Luka Doncic. Ironically, the answer was simply that the Warriors as a team would defend Doncic. Golden State threw several defensive coverages at him, disrupting Dallas’ offensive rhythm in the process. However, the key to all of this starts with Andrew Wiggins. He thrived in his role as the point of attack defender, and the rest of the team let him know that they appreciate him during their postgame pressers.
Steph says Wiggs was "relentless" while guarding Luka tonight pic.twitter.com/5rKSgV9BZt— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2022
Klay Thompson on Andrew Wiggins “moving them puppies tonight” and his own defense: “I still take pride in my defense, no matter what people say, if I’ve lost it or not.” pic.twitter.com/ERFQ3vN11g— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 19, 2022
Steve Kerr gives high praise to Wiggs after Game 1 pic.twitter.com/DHz7AclCbS— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2022
"Wiggs is an amazing defender and being able to have him pick up Luka 94 really helps us. Tremendous effort and great game by Wiggs."— NBA (@NBA) May 19, 2022
Jordan Poole on Andrew Wiggins defending Luka in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/qjSPaVFzkP
Steve Kerr: “The best players all have that knack for turning a bad game into a good one”
The Splash Brothers struggled early in this one, but finished strong with an efficient second half. Stephen Curry ended the game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists. He shot 3-of-9 from the three point line but, uncharacteristically, shot 4-of-7 from the free throw line. However, as Dubs fans know, Curry just needs one shot to get going. During his presser he detail a specific play that got him going after he admittedly threw a “wild pass”.
Klay Thompson was held scoreless in the first half but finished the game with an efficient night. He finished with 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field in 35 minutes of play. Thompson can be a bit too anxious to shoot at times, but coming off a two year break, it’s nice to see he doesn’t lack confidence during big playoff games.
"The best players all have that knack for turning a bad game into a good one..."— NBA (@NBA) May 19, 2022
Steve Kerr on Stephen Curry recovering after a slow start. pic.twitter.com/jJYXH9ZRs5
There’s a method to Steph’s wild passes pic.twitter.com/ob1gvcFZGi— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2022
"I didn't have a field goal in the first half, but that will never discourage me. I will always hunt my shot." pic.twitter.com/BT5l6apkxb— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2022
Steve Kerr: “Draymond is the key to our defense”
As stated earlier, the Warriors defensive performance was a team effort. Although the point of attack defender is important when guarding Doncic, Luka is still is good enough that he forces opposing defenses into rotation anyways. Because of this, having someone like Draymond Green directing the defense where to go is extremely important for this series as Steve Kerr states here:
"Draymond is the key to our defense...He is one of the best in the world at doing that, getting everyone organized and talking"— NBA (@NBA) May 19, 2022
Steve Kerr on Draymond Green's defensive leadership in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/ztcF0KdWgC
Quote of the Night
The quote of the night belongs to Luka Doncic. Early in the game, Wiggins inadvertently swiped Doncic across the face while playing defense, leaving behind a very noticeable scratch. Respect goes out to him as he played on and took it like a champ.
“It’s good. Makes me look tough” - Luka on his scar pic.twitter.com/UQfSFpgqY3— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2022
With this win, the Warriors take an early 1-0 lead in the series. They will play again on Friday night for Game 2 at the Chase Center.