Warriors

Warriors deviated from game plan in Game 2 loss: 'Our defense wasn’t connected'

Warriors deviated from game plan in Game 2 loss: 'Our defense wasn’t connected'

HOUSTON -- Not long after Steve Kerr’s neat synopsis of a 127-105 loss to Houston Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, the ever candid Draymond Green cut through the blather and identified the root of the problem.

“Our game-plan discipline wasn’t good,” Green said. “We knew what type of force they would come out with. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

“We just didn’t have very good game-plan discipline.”

Part of the game plan was, presumably, to disallow clean looks from the 3-point corners by Rockets forwards PJ Tucker and Trevor Ariza. That is, after all, what they do. They shoot corner 3s with the comfort of a Kardashian taking a selfie.

Following the plan perfectly in Game 1 on Monday, the Warriors stayed on Tucker and Ariza and held them to a combined 9 points on 3-of-11 shooting, 1-of-7 from deep.

Deviating from the plan in Game 2, the Warriors got lost in defensive rotations, were slow on switches and mostly waved at Tucker and Ariza. They had plenty of room to breathe and exploited it, combining for 43 points on 15-of-18 shooting, including 6-of-9 from the beyond the arc.

The discipline of Game 1, which funneled James Harden and Chris Paul to the bucket with minimal defensive rotation in order to squeeze the passing lanes, was gone. The corners were open.

“The space on the floor is in the corner,” explained Tucker, who had a playoff career-high 22 points. “That’s where I’m at. You want to be able to knock those shots down. So (Harden and Paul) always make great decisions and find me.”

Asked if they’d rather give up 64 points to Harden and Paul, as they did in Game 1, or 68 to Eric Gordon (27), Ariza (19) and Tucker, Klay Thompson didn’t think twice: “Yes.”

The numbers support that. On a night when Harden and Paul scored 35 points on 15-of-39 shooting, 4-of-20 from deep, the Warriors lost by 22 because the supporting cast took advantage of space that didn’t exist in Game 1.

“Our defense wasn’t connected,” Kerr said diplomatically. “We weren’t on the same page on a lot of plays where we got a little out of sorts.

“But give them the credit. They came out and played a great game, got everybody going. We got what we deserved. They kicked our butts.”

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5pm
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

Andre Iguodala doubtful for Game 4 against Rockets

Andre Iguodala doubtful for Game 4 against Rockets

OAKLAND -- After five games together in the starting lineup for the Warriors, the Hamptons 5 are in jeopardy of temporarily breaking up.

It’s likely that forward Andre Iguodala, experiencing soreness in his left knee after a collision in Game 3 on Sunday, will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night against the Rockets.

Iguodala was held out of practice Monday and is listed as doubtful on the Warriors injury report. An X-ray is anticipated, according to a team spokesman.

Iguodala entered the starting lineup in Game 4 of the conference semifinals at New Orleans, joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the debut of the Hamptons 5 as a starting unit. All five also started Game 5 against the Pelicans and the first three games against Houston.

If Iguodala is unable to play, it will have a dramatic effect not only on the starting lineup but also on the playing rotations utilized by Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Among the options to start are center/forward Kevon Looney, guard/forward Nick Young. Rookie center/forward Jordan Bell also could be considered.

None of the possible replacements brings the same package of intuition, athleticism and intangibles as Iguodala, who over the last five games averaged 27.2 minutes.

“When we focus in and are flying around and playing extremely hard and anticipating really well, seeing things before they happen, we’re a really good team,” Durant said after practice. “And Andre is a guy that does that night in and night out for us. We feed off his energy. We feed off his athletic plays, his team plays, whether it’s getting a steal, getting a deflection, getting a hockey assist, that stuff makes us feel good.”

The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Iguodala was defending Rockets star James Harden, and the two banged knees as Harden was driving into the paint. Iguodala immediately began clutching his knee. He remained in the game for nearly a full minute, was replaced by Looney with 6:49 left and did not return.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Warriors 126, Rockets 85
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry weighs in on his son's Game 3 breakthrough: 'The MVP, a shooter like Steph...'

Dell Curry knows a thing or two about shooting the basketball.

Steph Curry's father made 1,245 3-pointers in his career -- the 54th most in NBA history.

On Monday morning, Dell joined KNBR 680 to talk about Steph's breakthrough from distance in Game 3.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'This is my fu**ing house' -- Curry explodes in Game 3]

"Obviously you want to keep shooting and then you want to remember that you're the best in the world at what you do," Dell explained. "Gotta give Houston some credit -- they ran him off the 3-point line. That's why he was getting to the rim because they would not allow him to get open looks...

"All it takes sometimes is one game, couple shots to go down, get some transition buckets and then you're off and running.

"Houston -- their game plan was good the first couple of games at home. But the MVP, a shooter like Steph, it's really hard to keep him in check for three games in a row."

Curry was held in check in the first half -- 9 points on 3-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-7 from deep.

He erupted for 18 points in the third quarter and finished the second half with 26 points on 10-for-12 overall.

And in case you were curious, Steph's daughters -- Riley and Ryan -- call their grandpa Dell...

"G-Daddy."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller