Eight minutes into the third quarter of Game 2, Jayson Tatum gave a three-pointer nail Cut off the Warriors’ lead and take the key to the six, prompting Steve Kerr to call for an immediate timeout. The next Celtics field goal came seven minutes later, when Aaron Nesmith created a format to reduce the Warriors’ lead to 27. The Warriors put the Celtics close to the sword at the start of the third and fourth games, forming a bunch. Three-man and usually peak warrior game. They secured a blowout with a great defensive performance throughout those seven perfect minutes. It wasn’t that they picked up another 41, as the Warriors spent almost the entire game forcing the Celtics on all sorts of tough shots and proved that they have plans and staff to keep Boston in a tough spot. As long as this series lasts.
We should start with Drymond Green, who has always been a defensive ladder for the Warriors. In Game 2, he set the tone outside the gate by squatting with Al Harford in the first possession of the game and grabbing the rock by forcing a jump ball. After Game 1 moved away from Harford and was repeatedly punished, Green spent Game 2, after that first possession, to match Jelene Brown. Almost immediately, the gambit seemed to bite the warriors’ asses. Brown scored eight points in the first two and a half minutes of the game, climbed above the green and splashed a pair of three; He finished the first frame with 13. Since the Celtics don’t play with a traditional starter, Brown is an important part of their offense. Jason Tatum continues to be their best player and the centerpiece of Boston’s wealth plurality, but neither he nor Marcus Smart are consistently dangerous dribbling threats.
Brown has no playmaking talent between the two, but he is a more threatening player with a live dribble. Moving Green to Brown and Clay Thompson slotting on Harford puts Green in a position to hold Brown when he gets the ball and makes it available for stunts and helps Brown do things that aren’t involved. Green Hall is one of the league’s smartest players, and probably the best single-assisted defender the NBA has ever seen, and he has implemented this scheme. Brown went 1-11 after the first quarter and despite having Tatum and Brown Three Barrage in that frame, the Warriors started the second quarter ahead. The first clip here shows how much Green has hurt Brown, but really, I recommend the whole thing.
Kerr and his crew had some more prosperity – the occasional zone look, some spot nemanja bezelica minutes, the emphasis on sending late help to throw some sand in Celtic crime gear – although the biggest difference between games 1 and 2 was the level of physique. “I think everyone played with more energy,” Green said. “It simply came to our notice then. It was across the board. If I just take my energy and no one else does, it doesn’t work. It’s a whole team effort, the guys are ready to help if they need help and take on challenges during the attack. Curry, a small man who is often harassed, The playoffs showcased his best defensive performance. Gary Payton II made his final debut and helped the Warriors maintain a new level of intensity, even helping to differentiate athleticism. Thompson dropped Harford a few inches, although he has turned himself into a very strong post defender since returning from his injury, limiting Harford to 0-for-3 in the post-up. (It helps to acknowledge that Harford has just one move.) The Warriors have mixed their coverage, sometimes switching, hedging, and occasionally doubling, a sophisticated balance-killing coverage that you can only play when you have five capable defenders. Being martial by someone as smart as green.
Despite scoring 34 points in the second and third quarters, Boston actually surpassed their three-point average in Game 2, finishing -37 for 15, which is similar to Golden State. Given two straight 40-plus percent shooting performances from the long range, including an outlier quarter that stole their Game 1, one would probably expect two Boston wins, or at least 88 points in the game they dropped. But the Warriors have taken the entire lane. Boston made just 15 two-pointers last night, matching their 22 in Game 1. Minimum two-game stretch mark In the history of the NBA Finals. All this is not a golden state, to be fair. The competitive part of Boston Game 2 was spent settling for competitive jumpers, often late in the shot clock. They flipped it 18 times, although the Warriors stole 15 (somehow, neither Payton nor Andrew Wiggins) showed how well and relentlessly all these pressures worked. “You could have coached Drymond [Ime] Udoka and it must be a different ballgame [Game 1] Based on the way he got into the game, “said Curry. “Matchups are matchups. But everyone has to bring the right intensity, and Drymond did it with a jump. “
None of this should actually be so surprising, since the Warriors had the second best defense in the league this season, and since they are built on a strong defensive identity that makes their beautiful offense easy to miss deceptively. They were killed for the decision at the time, but the Warriors began to take shape as an elite team when they flipped Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut. They won two crucial play-off series in 2015 after a pair of brilliant defensive adjustments by Steve Kerr. Mike Brown and Kerr helped Andrew Wiggins turn from an incoherent collection of tools into an elite defender, and they did so with the help of Dreammond Green. The organization’s two-year purge was less defined by the absence of the old elite offense than by the unfortunate lack of smart defensive players. They have them again, and clearly have the tools to hurt the Celtics in the final.
At the moment, both teams have suffered losses and the dynamics of the series are coming into focus. The Warriors certainly won’t be able to hold on to the intensity they showed in winning Game 2, although a return to the Payton lineup means they probably won’t break down as much as in Game 1. The only thing Curry had to do was play a big 32 minutes, as he had to play heavy minutes to keep the Warriors in balance with an elite Celtic defense. And Boston will obviously have to play with a wider sense of offense and either have to hunt down Carrie more aggressively or run more off-ball stuff to free Brown and Tatum. Hopefully everyone has learned what to do and we can finally get a non-blowout.