Stephen Curry — Golden State Warriors
My bad on not getting to you on time. Been busy on other sites and what not, and we won’t be that active until AFTER the regular season opener. But thanks for the question, and I hope you — and everyone — continues to ask more during the season.
To answer it, I love the potential of this new Golden State Warriors offense.
The ball movement is much improved and you can tell that Coach Steve Kerr has put a great deal of emphasis on moving the ball before firing up a shot. They use up the clock and find a way to get the best shot possible. As long as they stick within those parameters and remain one of the top defenses in the NBA, this offensive philosophy should work to Golden State’s advantage.
In particular, I love how Kerr is better utilizing his post men. Kerr and staff seem to be stressing Andrew Bogut to be more aggressive on the block to help David Lee carry the offense inside. With Bogut more active on offense, defenses will collapse more often, giving the perimeter guys more chances to score; that, or Bogut and Lee will be able to get whatever they want with defenses too cautious over Golden State’s plethora of effective perimeter players.
Kerr using Bogut and Lee as facilitators is a great thing to have in their offense as well, seeing as both Bogut and Lee have proficient court vision. This allows for all kinds of opportunities for cutters and other types of off-ball movement.
The problem I have with Golden State’s offense right now is the spacing. While I can understand the merits of double screens and curl shots around pin-down screens, it hurts their spacing.
In my opinion, the curl-over shots off horns (two big men at the high post) is a one-and-done type of play because not only does it put the big men out of ideal rebounding position, but the spacing is just too crowded for my taste. If a defender were to trap Klay Thompson (or whoever was coming around the pin-down screen for a mid-range jumper) within the horns area, it would take too much time for the bigs to split apart and create an outlet.
Were the bigs to stay put at the high post like they did against the Los Angeles Clippers, then Thompson would have a more difficult time finding a good outlet on the wings.
I estimate that the majority of the time, Thompson would be forced into a bad shot were that the case. I noticed that the Warriors only resulted to this play at the latter end of the shot clock, so that could prove problematic would a team figure out how to counter this play to force a violation.
In knowing that, perhaps Kerr knows that it’s a one-and-done play, but I don’t believe in running those types of plays at any time. As a coach, I like having a lot of ball movement with a good deal of cutters too, minus the use of too many ball screeners; this is simply because it sometimes creates spacing problems on my wing guys, and it takes my bigs out of premier rebounding position (unless it’s a high pick-and-roll).
As we saw at times, Stephen Curry or one of the other guards would have to make a bad kick pass or take a bad shot due to a spacing problem involving an iced (sideline trap) pick-and-pop on the wings. The passing lane to the top would be covered, forcing the Warriors to make the pass into the corner. And while a Thompson corner-3 seems ideal, he’s not going to drain it each and every time he’s trapped in the corner.
Thankfully, spacing is easy to fix within Kerr’s system, and Sunday’s Los Angeles Lakers game showed much improvement. Didn’t see horns called, nor a sideline pick-and-pop with a big man lacking an outside jumper. Ball movement was much more solid, revolving around lots of off-ball movement created off wing/post feeds.
I also really liked how Golden State pushed the transition game, another of Kerr’s emphases.
Summing it up, Kerr’s offense has potential if the defense remains one of the top in the NBA. The bigs as facilitators is a great asset that Kerr is taking full advantage of, and the ball movement will improve tremendously once the spacing problem is easily solved. Warriors running the break quickly, aggressively and effectively is also advantageous.
My advice to Kerr would be to do what they did against the Lakers: feed the wings and post guys, move off-ball, and find the best shot off a couple subsequent passes. There’s no need for ball screens too close to the basket with the kind of floor spacers Golden State possesses.
2014-15 Warriors Commercial - Stephen Curry
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