Warriors know sloppy defense in Game 5 vs Cavs will get them burned

Warriors know sloppy defense in Game 5 vs Cavs will get them burned

OAKLAND -- When the Warriors take the floor Monday night for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, they’ll do so with the lessons of Game 4 still etched on their minds.

The most lasting lesson is that sloppy defense will get them burned.

“We didn't give any kind of resistance in that first -- I'll call it first three minutes, where they just got real comfortable on our miscommunication,” Stephen Curry said Sunday. “We got separated from bodies a little too much and let them toe up on the 3-point line.

“And in that building especially, if you allow them to get that three-point game going early, they feed off of that energy.”

The Cavaliers, spurred by the home crowd at Quicken Loans Arena, shot 52.9 percent from the field, becoming the first team this postseason to shoot above 48 percent against the Warriors.

The Warriors were especially punished by Cleveland’s shooting beyond the arc. The Cavs dropped a Finals record 24 3-pointers -- accounting for 72 of their 137 points.

“Of those 24, I would say probably 10 of them were just mental breakdowns and giving them open looks,” Curry said. “And they're obviously great 3-point shooters. If you give them open looks, they're capable of making it, and they can make them in flurries.”

Among the 16 teams that entered the playoffs, the Warriors rank No. 1 in field-goal percentage defense, at 42.3. Their 3-point field-goal percentage defense, 33.5, is tops among all teams that advanced past the second round.

Yet the Cavs, aggressive from the start, scoring a Finals-record 49 points in the first quarter, including seven of the 24 triples, shot 53.3 percent from deep.

“They didn't do it by luck,” Kevin Durant said.

“They can match the effort they gave,” Draymond Green said. “But if we raise our level of effort and intensity, they don't hit 24 3s. I definitely expect them to match that effort, but I expect ours to be a lot better.”

Part of that expectation may come from the change of venue. The Warriors have been more prone to slippage on the road than at Oracle Arena, where Game 5 will be played.

“I expect us to come out guns blazing,” Green said. “If you get punched in the face, you want to respond. We know what it takes to win a championship. We know what we have to do in order to win this game.”

If the Warriors know what will be required to succeed, it’s because they studied plenty of video over the weekend that illustrated their inattention to detail as well as Cleveland’s offensive tenacity and accuracy in Game 4.

Guards Kyrie Irving and JR Smith combined for 55 points, including making 12-of-21 from deep. Power forward Kevin Love had his best offensive game, scoring 23 points and draining 6-of-8 3-pointers.

“Some of it was their ball movement and their ability to break us down from the perimeter, and some of it was us just not being ready to play and not ready to rotate, not helping each other fully,” Klay Thompson said. “So give Cleveland credit for their offense. They were moving the ball really well and slicing us up.

“But on the other side of that, we kind of let them. Our intensity wasn't the same as it was in the first three games, so we'll get back to that tomorrow.”

The Cavs have improved, game by game, on offense. Desperate to avoid being swept, they were practically perfect in Game 4.

The Warriors, as they have all season, believe their defense is the key to their success. It feeds their transition offense while simultaneously frustrating opponents.

“It all starts on the ball,” coach Steve Kerr said. “If you get broken down at the point of attack, now you have to help and now the dominoes start falling and they're swinging the ball side to side, and they got shooters everywhere. So our on-ball defense has to be better, our pick-and-roll defense has to be better.

“We have to bring it. We got to go take this game and do it with efficiency and competitive defense and alertness and awareness for 48 minutes. We didn't have any of that in Game 4.”

NBA rumors: Lakers add Michael Beasley on one-year contract


NBA rumors: Lakers add Michael Beasley on one-year contract

Michael Beasley found himself a new basketball home on Friday.

The Lakers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Beasley, league sources told multiple national reporters.

In 74 games with the Knicks last season, Beasley averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

[RELATED: Charles Barkley says the Nuggets and Timberwolves are better than the Lakers]

Beasley -- the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft -- will be playing for his seventh NBA team.

The 29-year old also played for two different teams in China.

Beasley was teammates with LeBron James in Miami during the 2013-14 season.

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

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Earlier this week, Jonas Jerebko was introduced to Bay Area media members.

He talked about his expectations for next season and his role with the Warriors.

On Friday morning, he was a guest on 95.7 The Game and told Warriors fans they should have a pretty high bar for the "Swedish Larry Bird."

"I've been 10 years in the league and I feel like I'm getting better every year. I feel like I haven't played my best basketball yet," Jerebko declared. "The most minutes I did play was my rookie year."

Jerebko -- the 39th pick in the 2009 draft -- averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds as a rookie in Detroit.

He missed the entire 2010-11 season because of a torn Achilles tendon, but bounced back in 2011-12 to the tune of 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

The 31-year old played a couple more seasons in Detroit and was then traded to Boston in February 2015.

He re-signed with the Celtics in July 2015 and averaged 15.1 minutes and 15.8 minutes per contest in his two seasons under Brad Stevens.

In Utah last year, Jerebko registered 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes, and shot over 41 percent from 3-point territory.

"I got a lot more to give and I'm a lot better player than people think I am sometimes," Jerebko said. "I'm ready to show that."

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