After sitting through the second half of Game 1, it was pretty clear that the Warriors rushed shots as the lead evaporated and became a deficit. I overheard Steph Curry telling Leandro Barbosa exactly that from the showers, then he repeated his postgame analysis for reporters and fans in the press conference room.
(The showers are located within 15 feet of the standard media scrum location of the Warriors’ locker room. Shaun Livingston was answering questions at the time, and I couldn’t hear him due to what Curry was saying to Barbosa. I swear I don’t linger by the showers like a weirdo.)
Who rushed shots? Curry and Klay Thompson combined to make just one field goal in the fourth quarter. But no one looked for his own shot more noticeably than Draymond Green. He scored 23 points and went a respectable 9-for-16 on 2-point attempts, but he went 0-for-4 on threes, many of them contested. Even some of his attempts inside looked a little forced.
Green also finished with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, relatively low numbers for a player who averaged 9.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists during the regular season. He also had 2 blocks and a steal. It was a respectable stat line, but not the nuclear array of numbers we’ve come to expect during Warriors victories.
I thought about Green’s worst game of the playoffs — probably his worst game of the season — when he scored 9 points and committed 7 turnovers in Game 3 against Houston. In his next game, he bounced back from a 3-for-9 shooting night by going 7-for-12 and 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. He had an even better game in Portland when the Warriors were coming off another Game 3 loss.
So I took a look at every bounce-back game Green has had, and some things seemed pretty clear.
- He doesn’t shoot as often after a rare Warriors loss.
- He accumulates more assists.
- He shoots at a high percentage.
- Some of his best games of the season have come in this scenario.
The Warriors have had only 11 such games including the playoffs, with their 12th opportunity to avoid consecutive losses coming tonight. In those games, Green averages 14.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1.9 bpg and 2.1 spg, while shooting 50.8% from the field and attempting only 10.7 shots per game. Four of his 14 triple-doubles have come after Warriors defeats.
It’s simplistic, but the Warriors must get a great all-around performance from Green, one in which he plays more like a point guard than a traditional forward, to win Game 2. We’ll see soon if that happens.
I watched Curry’s pregame warmups, because … why not? I shot a little video.
Video: Steph Curry with another tunnel splash pic.twitter.com/naH3XSCQh5
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) May 18, 2016