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The Warriors Play Defense?

Posted By Chris Mosca On Dec 27 2011 @ 12:03 pm In Golden State Warriors | 1 Comment

Mark Jackson is lucky to have some players that are undoubtedly physically and mentally gifted.  The ambiguously effective duo, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, has long been criticized for exciting offensive play that doesn’t translate into wins.  Some have criticized first year coach, Mark Jackson, for coming intoGoldenStatewith an emphasis on defense without any regard for working in favor of his roster’s strengths, which is believed to be offense.

 While the half court alley-oop [1] from Curry to Lee will stand out in today’s highlights, the Warriors often left the Bulls on their heels or sprinting back failing to effectively execute a transitional defense.  Along with the three stars (Ellis, Curry, Lee), the Warriors filled holes on defense well and created holes on offense consistently.  David Lee drew Joakim Noah out of his comfort zone often by loitering at the wing and the top of the key.  This cleared the paint often for Curry or Ellis to penetrate, creating a defensive collapse out of respect for their playmaking abilities, and a dish to Lee for a 15-20 foot jumper.

 The Warriors forced the Bulls into 20 turnovers, and made good on 20 fast break points, led by Curry’s six steals. 

 Exciting guard play on the defensive end too!

 Derrick Rose shot 4 of 17 from the field and seemed to have trouble adjusting his game to the constantly shifting Warriors defense that was covering the high screen rolls very well and doubling down on Rose when they could.  Mark Jackson has these guys active and it seems that the 4th-8th options will be awarded playing time for defensive prowess.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, Dorrell Wright lacks the lateral speed to be a lock down defender and could cede minutes to the athletic but less offensively talented, Brandon Rush.  Regardless, Wright will get his minutes for his shooting ability and how that can stretch the floor for dumpoffs to Andris Biedrins and Kwame Brown.

 Just like David Lee abused Joakim Noah’s shortcomings, he did the same to Carlos Boozer last night.  He drew Boozer outside of the paint, faced up, and took him with the first step on a few occasions.  Lee used a plethora of post moves on Boozer to inch his way into the paint.  Lee’s court awareness and ability to create holes was very impressive.  Lee moved as much off the ball as I’ve seen Ray Allen do in a game.  He looked reenergized after struggling last season with an elbow injury.

 A new coach and a new scheme might be just what the Warriors needed to stop muddling in mediocrity.  I’ll be back to see if that carries over to a matchup with the Knicks on Wednesday.

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[1] alley-oop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk1fG3vq6lY

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