NBA Playoffs – Results of the Warriors victory in Game 1 against the Grizzlies: Steve Kerr almost played

The Golden State Warriors won a thriller in Memphis despite Draymond Green not playing in the second half at all. The expulsion was disputed while the dubs had a replacement for the defensive star. Jordan Poole remains the revelation of the season.

1. Warriors: Steve Kerr almost played

If you as a favored team change your lineup to react to the opponent, it is often interpreted as a weakness. Just ask Avery Johnson, who put his center in Game 1 of the 2007 1-8 match against the Golden State Warriors in Erick Dampier and was heavily criticized for the loss.

15 years later, Warriors coach Steve Kerr surprised everyone with his move to include Gary Payton II in the starting five and sacrifice star shot Jordan Poole for it. The mindset was understandable, after all, the Warriors would not expect Klay Thompson to defend Ja Morant. At the same time, they robbed themselves of their greatest strength, the three-guard lineup with Klay, Poole and Stephen Curry.

To make matters worse, Payton himself did not have a chance against the Grizzlies’ superstar and had already collected three errors in just over eight minutes of the first half. The measure gave Morant a place to hide in the defense. Poole, in turn, was allowed to play immediately after the break and it became clear that this was a major issue for the Grizzlies.

Trae Young is always heavily criticized for his defense, Morant is not much better in this regard, although he seems much more active than the Hawks guard. But it also can not hide that he sticks to every screen and constantly loses sight of his opponents.

Anyway, at Andrew Wiggins, the Dubs had a solid alternative to slowing down Morant’s drive, and they did quite well. In the third quarter, the playmaker managed just one field goal in the zone, Memphis as a team scoring only 6 points and remaining in the game only thanks to Jaren Jackson Jr.’s hot shot.

2. Warriors Small Ball also works without green

The luxury of the three guards is also that two can be on the field at any time. In Game 1, it was Curry and Poole who were hot and ultimately lowered Memphis. Payton still had a huge impact defensively in the fourth quarter, probably also because Green was no longer there (more on that later). Dubs could afford a non-shooter.

And they ended up having a killer lineup on the field. Payton acted as center, the three guards and Wiggins were also on the field. With 2.01 meters, the Canadian was the tallest warrior on the field, the Rockets greeted from the bubble. After all, it worked, mainly because of the good work on the offensive board and thanks to Payton who made the Greens’ absence at both ends forgotten and was the secret match winner in the final few minutes.

Due to the intrusion of the guards, the Grizzlies, who also played extremely small, had to rotate a lot. Jackson Jr. may have been the tallest player on the field, but rebounding is not one of his strengths. In addition, he spent a lot of time on the perimeter, so rebounds were secured more through positional play and willpower. Golden State snatched 5 offensive rebounds in the final piece, 16 over 48 minutes.

It could also have been because of the planning, after all, the hosts first made it clear that they would advance to the next round 40 hours earlier in Minneapolis, well over 1,300 miles away. It was almost significant that Thompson’s game winner only came as the Warriors had previously missed three throws in a row in possession.

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