The Golden State Warriors had a chance to win their game over the Grizzlies in regulation, but Steve Kerr drew up a horrible play.
The Warriors had a chance to send their sellout crowd home happy. They had an opportunity to save face and not blow another huge lead on national TV. At one point, the Warriors led by 24 points and looked like they were ready to avenge their big loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on December 10.
Instead, they let that huge lead slip away. After Mike Conley tied the game with a stepback jumper, the Warriors got the ball back. They called timeout to advance the ball into the frontcourt.
This gave the reigning Coach of the Year, Steve Kerr, an opportunity to draw a ball for one of his four All-Stars (or Finals MVP) to get a good look at a game-winning shot. With incredible offensive weapons all over the floor, the Warriors are a nightmare for a defense to gameplan for.
Between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson, the Dubs have three guys who can end you. Draymond Green is an elite playmaker and Andre Iguodala has proven to be clutch time and time again for the Warriors. They have creative players and the league’s most explosive offense.
The Curry/Green pick-and-roll worked pretty much all game. The defending MVP got into a rhythm and scored 40 points against Memphis. Conley just couldn’t stay in front of him when Curry had the ball. So it was pretty clear that he was getting the ball.
The only thing that’s probably more embarrassing than blowing a 24 point lead on your home floor to a subpar offense is the play Kerr drew up.
What in the world was that? Andre Iguodala popped up and wasted a few seconds before getting Curry, who was running around two screens, the ball. Then the MVP was basically trapped with the time winding down.
The play was atrocious. The Warriors’ first option should have been inbounding the ball directly to Curry at the top. If that wasn’t there, then perhaps getting it to Durant would have made sense. But if that also wasn’t there, then Curry should have just gone straight to Iguodala to get a handoff and the isolation at the top of the key.
The two screens that sent Curry streaking towards the sideline as Iguodala dribbled towards him to complete the pass seemed unnecessary. It just added extra congestion that wasn’t needed. The worst part was Iguodala shrinking the space between he and Curry and then not clearing out once he got him the ball. This allowed his man to show on Curry, forcing him to hesitate and cutting off the drive on the left side.
Curry had to hoist up a difficult contested 40 footer that nearly banked in. It was a complete heave that would have been a miracle had it somehow gone down. It was not the best shot they could have gotten.
The Warriors have way too many weapons on the floor for that to be their last shot. Kerr needs to do a better job of putting his players into positions that they can succeed in. It didn’t utilize the facets of the Warriors’ offense that makes them so effective and it didn’t give Curry room to operate.
That play was lazy and, quite frankly, pathetic. The Warriors have played close games against top teams, losing in OT against the Grizzlies, double overtime against the Rockets, and by a basket to the Cavaliers. They need to execute better down the stretch if they want to win those games, especially in a playoff series.
The Warriors’ players need to knock down shots and player smarter basketball. But their coach can’t fail them before they even have a chance to win a game.