Still riding high by the return of Game 4, Stephen Curry was so convinced that the Warriors would come to the FedEx forums and end the series that he said the game plan was “whoop that trick”, which is the Memphis Grizzlies post-win tradition. Was flipping to talk trash.
As it turned out, the Warriors scored 134-95, forcing Game 6 on Friday night at the Chase Center.
Here’s what went wrong for the dubs in Game 5 and how they can fix it to end the series in six.
It’s not unusual for the Golden State to have more turnover than a bakery. Again, this is an offense that emphasizes ball speed and high assist numbers. With those 20 to 30-plus aids, comes a higher turnover rate. Still, the turnovers that plagued the Warriors in the series have been pretty impressive. They are also getting expensive. In Game 5, the Warriors made 22 turnovers, resulting in 29 Memphis points.
JP hit 3 with 5:11 and reduced the remaining 17 points to 11 in the second.
The following three GSW properties:
Drummond Green To Two A Tyce Jones 3
Kevon Looney to a D’Anthony Melton Layout
Green to a Steven Adams Layup + Foul
It was a 1-minute swing game. pic.twitter.com/LjM0t25P6b
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) 12 May 2022
Three consecutive turnovers. Three vacant possessions turned into seven points in one minute. It is rare for Drummond Green to let the ball slip through his fingers as he did early in the clip. He didn’t even have the ball safe to pass the ball back to Curry for transfer three.
Although turnover is a team-wide problem, Green has been the main culprit. He has turned the ball 20 times in five matches.
Solution: Off-ball green?
If Greene continues to roll the ball at this rate, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the property features a Curry or Jordan pool. He is the only warrior who can make his own shot and facilitate others. For example, curry can attract multiple defenders and create opportunities for others to score.
An off-ball green will be more effective as a roll man in pick-and-roll situations. However, the drawback of taking the ball out of Greene’s hands is that if they do not include him as a roller in the PNR action, he becomes even more limited in the offensive.
Solution: Slow down
A big reason for the Warriors’ turnover is because they are allowing themselves to be quick; Green acknowledged it in the postgame.
I understand the need to pick up the pace, and the need to push the ball before the defense is set. But Warriors need to play at their own pace and take their time to read right. As a team with more experience, the Warriors shouldn’t let Memphis’ athleticism bother them to the point where they’re making reckless turnovers.
In the first four games, the Warriors outplayed the Grizzlies despite being smaller and scored more points in the paint. Putting Steven Adams in the starting lineup helped Memphis tilt those stats. In Game 5, Adams and the Grizzlies scored 30 rebounds in the first quarter alone. The Grizzlies also grabbed 13 of the Warriors’ two offensive boards. For the game, Memphis beat Golden State 55–37 and scored 50 points in the paint.
Solution: Isolation to Separation
The Warriors are an undersized team that plays better when they are “small” and that is their reality. But they can deny it with speed on offense.
Coaching Mike Brown should dial up more high screen-and-roll action for Curry and Poole in place of Steve Kerr. There is no one on the Grizzlies who can defend them with the ball continuously. The warriors must draw Adams with paint, and rescue him in space. The Warriors must hunt down every opportunity Adams gets and eventually play him to the floor.
Problem: lineup error
Jonathan Cuminga was in the starting lineup for the third time on Wednesday, but he shouldn’t be now. In the first five minutes of Game 5, Cuminga shot 1 for 3 from the ground and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 10 points on that.
Offensively, Cuminga and Green were liabilities. The Warriors are at a disadvantage aggressively with them on the floor together. Cuminga has shown a blaze of potential. However, it’s the playoffs, and potential only means you’re not doing much right now. While Cuminga isn’t ready for a bigger role, it was still a hands-on learning experience that will serve him well down the line.
Solution: Starting a lineup without an alias
Since Kuminga is not playable for long and Otto Porter’s position for Game 6 is uncertain, the Warriors will start either Kevon Looney or Poole. If the Warriors are looking to close out the series, starting a three-guard lineup with Curry, Poole and Klay Thompson is the way to go.
While Memphis would have an advantage in size, the Warriors could negate this with their own pace and force the Grizzlies to run in transition and defend.
The Warriors only had four fast-break points in Game 5. After the Memphis Basket, the Grizzlies made no attempt to throw an outlet pass before setting up their half-court defense. The half-court defense is harder to attack, but the three-guard lineup is more equipped to walk in transition. Plus, this lineup is tough to defend. With two shot creators on the floor in Curry and Poole, a shooter in Thompson and a busy Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors aren’t at three-five losses on every offensive possession.
Problem: Forcing System
Kerr is off the bench, but he is being insisted on by Brown. In Game 5, Brown didn’t bother to counter the Grizzlies’ adjustments. With Adams in the lineup, there are two rim-protectors on the floor of Memphis. The other three Grizzlies are defending the arc, which leaves the mid-range open.
Nevertheless, the Warriors would instead run the pace offense and take possession of the ball five times, for it to show anything but missed shots and turnovers.
Solution: Isolation for Exploitation
Grizzlies sometimes switch on defense. In those switches, there are mismatches. In addition to defending Adams in space, the Warriors’ three-guard lineup can take advantage of those mismatches, as not many Grizzlies can defend Curry and Poole on the ball.
Curry and Poole must use their momentum to hunt and target defenders such as Brandon Clark and Kyle Anderson. Take them to an island and rescue them in space. Warriors should make it a point for Curry and Poole to get those kinds of mismatches and let them attack.