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Warriors stick to what worked: Gary Payton II in the starting lineup

A heavy diet of involving Anthony Davis in pick-and-rolls should be in order.

2023 NBA Playoffs- Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Steve Kerr isn’t changing his starting lineup from Game 4. Per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Gary Payton II will get the starting nod along with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green.

The Golden State Warriors outscored the Los Angeles Lakers by three points in Payton’s 23 minutes in Game 4. That could’ve been more, if not for Payton apparently throwing up while on the court, having to sub himself out and limiting his first half minutes. He also didn’t return late in the second half.

With Anthony Davis initially guarding Payton, the Warriors involved Davis in 24 pick-and-roll possessions in the first half of Game 4 to great success: 1.13 points per possession with Curry bringing over Davis in screen-and-roll action.

The Lakers adjusted after halftime by having Davis guard Wiggins. The Warriors tried to have Wiggins set the screen and found pockets of success, but bafflingly did not involve Davis as much as they did during the first half: only six instances of Davis defending the pick-and-roll.

According to Steve Kerr, he went with the vaunted Curry-Green pick-and-roll as the reason why they went away from involving Davis heavily in the second half:

Whoever Davis decides to guard — whether it’s Payton (who’s a relatively better decision maker in the short roll) or Wiggins (who struggles making reads as a release valve) — the Warriors should attempt to involve Davis more, considering the hole they’re currently in.

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