Good Morning Dub Nation,
The Golden State Warriors handled their business Thursday night, masterfully beating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2, 127-100. The game started off with a big change to the starting lineup. While everyone expected head coach Steve Kerr to shake things up for Game 2, they were not expecting Warriors big man JaMychal Green being the key player stepping up. However, after a minimal role all season long, Green came through with his biggest performance of the year as Kerr praised the nine-year veteran for always staying ready.
Steve Kerr says he's proud of JaMychal for staying ready and taking advantage of his opportunity pic.twitter.com/0EBM6FYdaA— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 5, 2023
Starting Green gave several advantages to the Warriors. He adds another shooter which maximizes the team’s spacing, maintains decent enough defensive size, and allows the team to stagger big men Kevon Looney and Draymond Green. The results were evident as Looney (+11) and Draymond (+15) dominated their minutes on the floor while J. Green finished the night with 15 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the three-point line.
JaMychal Green said he was frustrated with his lack of playing time vs. Sacramento.— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) May 5, 2023
"We had a team meeting, and Steph said some powerful words. It kinda got me locked in, let go of everything. It's just all about the team." pic.twitter.com/Gnv07Vs44I
"I don't want to be selfish ... I just want to help win."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 5, 2023
- JaMycal Green on taking advantage of his opportunity to start pic.twitter.com/HYLRy1wZnH
Of course, everything with the Warriors begins and ends with Stephen Curry. Although he didn’t assert his dominance through sheer scoring prowess as he did in Sacramento, Curry still dominated this game through a different facet of his game: his playmaking. Curry ended the night with 12 assists to add to his 20 points while committing just 3 turnovers. With his on-ball usage significantly higher than it was in Game 1, Curry completely took over the game — a testament to his vast versatility on the offensive end.
Steph reflects on having the ball in his hands more and creating plays for others pic.twitter.com/hD37aeeuHy— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 5, 2023
"That's the beauty of Steph...he's willing to do whatever it takes to win."— NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2023
Steve Kerr on Steph Curry's ability to have 50-point nights as well as performances like he had in Game 2 (20 PTS, 12 AST, 7-12 FG).#NBAPlayoffs presented by @madebygoogle pic.twitter.com/YqeOUmk2Hz
As good as Curry was passing the ball, his Splash Brother Klay Thompson was equally impressive scoring the ball. Thompson feasted on the Lakers perimeter defenders and was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points on a scorching hot 8-of-11 shooting from deep.
"It's always an honor to match up against the greats."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 5, 2023
- Klay on facing LeBron again in the playoffs pic.twitter.com/uyP71WDRfr
JaMychal Green's expression when talking about Klay Thompson hitting shots is cracking me up pic.twitter.com/hfCDPxHYe4— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) May 5, 2023
Meanwhile, Draymond Green shut down Anthony Davis on the defensive end, holding him to just 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. Green’s disruptive defense kept Davis off rhythm all night long, which in turn, threw off the entire Lakers team.
Draymond Green went from defending Anthony Davis for 34% of plays in Game 1 to 62% of plays in Game 2.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 5, 2023
Warriors Defensive Matchups Vs AD
Kevon Looney: 45
Draymond Green: 27
All others: 8
Draymond Green: 39
Kevon Looney: 15
All others: 9
Stats via @SecondSpectrum pic.twitter.com/uQl1DhNslo
The Warriors emphasized pushing the pace in transition in order to prevent the Lakers’ defense from getting set. This aggressiveness was especially critical in getting Davis into foul trouble. He had three fouls at the half and whenever he was pulled out of the game, the drop off in the Lakers’ defense was blatantly obvious.
DRAY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 5, 2023
Overall, Game 2 was a classic Warriors victory which saw positive contributions made throughout the team. Now tied at 1-1, the series heads down south to Los Angeles as the Warriors attempt to regain home court advantage on Saturday night.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Warriors spread the floor and push the Steph Curry pick-and-roll button to even the series against the Lakers
- Player grades: Game 2
- Klay Thompson leads Warriors to blowout victory over Lakers in must-win Game 2
- Warriors to start JaMychal Green in place of Kevon Looney in Game 2
- Steve Kerr urges Jonathan Kuminga to ‘stay ready’ despite lack of playing time
Other Warriors News:
- Warriors puncture lethargic Lakers defense in Game 2, tie second-round series (The Athletic)
- Warriors’ adjustments pay off in Game 2 blowout of Lakers (ESPN)
- LeBron’s faith in Lakers’ defense intact despite Dubs drubbing (ESPN)
- Klay Thompson vows to honor Kobe Bryant with effort on road vs. Lakers (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga are griping about their Warriors roles (SF Gate)
- Bucks fire coach Mike Budenholzer after early exit (ESPN)
- Inside Joe Mazzulla’s adjustments to shut down James Harden, Joel Embiid (The Athletic)
- Patrick Beverley says he and Russell Westbrook want rings if Lakers win NBA title (Yahoo Sports)
- Boston’s Marcus Smart wins 2022-23 NBA Hustle Award (NBA)
- Former NBA player and executive Lance Blanks dead at 56 (NBA)
A tweet to end the week:
In Game 7 against the Sacramento Kings, a Warriors fan went viral as he celebrated Curry putting up a 50-point masterpiece. The same fan showed up to Game 2 on Thursday night and received a special gift courtesy of Curry. Have a good weekend Dub Nation!
After the game, Steph was determined to find @StngthinumrsBro to give him his game shoes pic.twitter.com/3hEX6SA7ow— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 5, 2023
“It’s a hell of experience. Once-in-a-lifetime.”— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 5, 2023
Viral Game 7 Warriors fan @StngthinumrsBro just got Steph Curry’s game shoes pic.twitter.com/kfZlE070Lc