When facing a three-headed beast such as the Kyrie Irving-James Harden-Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets, you have to be prepared. Maybe even overly prepared.
The Warriors had a plan on Saturday night. But it crumbled, leading to a 134-117 loss to the Nets
"We didn't play a very mindful game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss. "You got to come into a game like this knowing you're an underdog and knowing you've got to follow a game plan. You've got to have a plan on how to beat them. It just felt like we were out there hooping without much of a plan."
The Warriors' game plan heading into Saturday night was actually quite simple: help each other out. Early on, the Warriors were OK in this area. They were moving the ball well, turning down good shots for better ones, and sticking right with the Nets on defense.
Part of the Warriors falling apart was their fault. But most of it was caused by the Nets.
"The game plan was to help each other, and you know, their personnel is such that makes it hard to do that," Draymond Green said. "We didn't execute the game plan well. But in saying that, they're a part of the reason we didn't. I mean, you have to give them a lot of credit for why we didn't.
"That team is tough to guard with the floor-spacing they have, the amount of guys that can break you down one-on-one. That team presents some different challenges."
The game started to unravel for the Warriors at the end of the first quarter. The game was tied with 2:47 left in the period, but some Brooklyn free-throws and easily made baskets in addition to missed shots from the Warriors gave the Nets a nine-point lead heading into the second.
"From there, we just weren't able to assert ourselves defensively," Steph Curry said. "And they are a very talented offensive team and have a lot of options ... it tests you."
The Nets had six players finish in double-digit scoring, including Irving with 23, Durant with 20 and Harden with 19 points and 16 assists.
According to Kelly Oubre Jr., the Warriors were able to execute their game plan early on because of their focus. But as the Nets built a little space and picked up the pace, the Warriors got frazzled and disorganized.
It led Brooklyn to back-cuts, easy layups, easy and-ones, and a whole lot of shooting. This allowed the floor to open up and get one-on-one matchups -- which was exactly what the Nets wanted.
"I think we played into their hands tonight and we didn't play our game," Oubre said. "We played the game they lulled us to sleep in."