Game 5 was the opposite of Game 4.
– Adam Silver attended Game 4 but didn’t speak publicly on the news of the day. Game 5’s tip-off came eight hours after Silver banned Donald Sterling for life and for the first time became something other than “the guy who isn’t David Stern.”
– Stephen Curry made five first quarter threes in Game 4. In Game 5, Curry attempted his fifth shot with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
– The Warriors had a 27-8 edge in fast break points on Sunday. The Clippers beat Golden State 21-13 in that category in Game 5.
– The Warriors won Game 4, 118-97. Game 5’s final score: Clippers 113, Warriors 103.
It’s been a series of adjustments, and the Clippers attacked Golden State’s “small-ball” lineup early by going at Draymond Green. Green picked up two quick fouls, and it felt like the Warriors missed two players during his absence. Curry went off in Game 4, and in Game 5 Chris Paul and the Clippers held the splash brother’s offense to a trickle: 17 points, four assists, eight turnovers.
“(Curry) knows he’s got to be better. Tonight he turned the ball over a little too much,” Mark Jackson said. “They did a good job being active in their pick-and-roll defense. The other night he executed, he was aggressive. Tonight he tried to thread the needle a little too much.”
For the first time since Game 2, the Warriors looked short-handed. There’s been noise that Festus Ezeli was medically cleared to play in Game 6. He might be able to make a contribution if he can knock Jordan out of position a few times and take some of the fouls that have been going to guys like Green, David Lee and Klay Thompson, who each had five personals on Tuesday night. But even with Ezeli, this game showed once again that if Blake Griffin doesn’t get into foul trouble and the Clippers don’t question whether they should even don their uniforms, Los Angeles holds the personnel edge.
There were several frustrating parts to this game from a Warriors perspective.
– Griffin started out something like 1-for-22, AND he got into foul trouble, but the best the Warriors could do was keep the game semi-close while he sat.
– As poorly as the Warriors played defensively, they were in this one until the last two minutes.
– Golden State’s halfcourt offense was poorly spaced and seemed to find most of its success on broken plays.
“It’s tough. They’re really focusing on trapping ball screens and switching out on off-ball screens. We want to run our offense and execute the way we’ve been doing all season. I need to find more shots,” Curry said.
“I can’t (shoot so few times early) every night for us to be successful. We know that. I knew they were going to come out keying on me early in the game because of how I was able to start last game.”
With the way the news cycle works, the Sterling story will be a distant memory by Thursday. By then it’ll just be basketball, and the Warriors will have to figure out a way to get Curry going while keeping Jordan from dunking, boarding and swatting the Clippers to victory.
– With all due respect (as Jackson might say) to the local guys, TNT makes CSN Bay Area’s feed look like standard definition.
– Maybe Adam Silver can remove the Warriors’ distraction by banning Darren Erman for life on Thursday before Game 6.
– Seriously though, that story about Erman recording everyone at the facility is crazy — like something out of the Bobby Rowell era.
– Matt Barnes’ clingy fouls wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t leer at every player he hacks for three seconds too long.
– The Warriors’ bench is truly awful. Steve Blake, Mo Speights and Jordan Crawford aren’t playoff rotation guys, so key guys getting in foul trouble is not an option.
– The Warriors were more than ready to boycott Game 5 if Silver didn’t announce a lifetime ban, something that was reported first by Marcus Thompson. Curry spoke more about the Warriors’ mindset throughout the day during his postgame media session.
“It was kid of a wait and see situation. We had shoot-around and wanted to know exactly what sanctions (Silver) was going to hand down. We had our opinions of what they should be. He definitely did a great job, putting the hammer down concisely and strongly for his first ruling as commissioner. Kind of took all the decisions — boycott, doing anything drastic — out of the question because of how well he handled the situation. We knew as players we had an opportunity to have a voice. If it came to that, I think we were all committed to it.
“As the day would’ve went on we probably would’ve gotten more concrete about what would’ve gone down. The way conversations were going early in the day, that might have happened if Adam didn’t do such a great job speaking for the league and making a stand.”
– Curry was asked about the difficulty of winning two in a row: “We’ve been a resilient team all year, we’ve won games all year when we needed to win them.”