Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7:00 PM
We finally saw the best of the Golden State Warriors this past Monday Night when they throttled Memphis 101-84 to even up their Western Conference second round playoff series at two games apiece. Many expected that in the bounce back spot in Game Three. The stubborn Warriors waited to get embarrassed a second time before finally making some adjustments.
After those adjustments…
*Much more intensity on defense
*Much better ball movement on offense
*Much better concentration from key contributors
*A realization that you can’t just show up against top Western opposition!
If you look over the key boxscore stats, the differences jump right out at you. We begin with Game Three…
GAME THREE STATS
Memphis 99, Golden State 89
Shooting Pct: Golden State 43%, Memphis 45%
Three-Pointers: Golden State 6/26, Memphis 5/16
Free Throws: Golden State 19/28, Memphis 20/23
Rebounds: Golden State 39, Memphis 44
Turnovers: Golden State 17, Memphis 14
Vegas Line: Golden State by 4, total of 197
Golden State was horrible from long range (that was the second game in a row where they went 6 of 26). And, they were too soft inside (Memphis shot 48% on two-pointers). Golden State isn’t particularly great against playoff caliber opponents in the areas of rebounding and turnovers given their style of play. They can make up for that by hitting their treys and protecting the rim. In this game (and Game Two), the Warriors really weren’t doing anything like champions. They were just coasting waiting for the trophy to come their way.
GAME FOUR STATS
Golden State 101, Memphis 84
Shooting Pct: Golden State 48%, Memphis 38%
Three-Pointers: Golden State 14/33, Memphis 4/18
Free Throws: Golden State 11/16, Memphis 14/18
Rebounds: Golden State 45, Memphis 49
Turnovers: Golden State 21, Memphis 16
Vegas Line: Golden State by 4, total of 196
Thanks to much more intensity, the Warriors made 14 treys (more than their last two games combined) and held Memphis to only 41% on two-pointers. A smart adjustment that stuck Bogut on Tony Allen and dared him to shoot from distance paid off all night. Memphis couldn’t resist taking low percentage shots! Note, though, that Golden State still lost rebounding and turnovers. This could be a problem moving forward. They still don’t have much margin for error if the treys aren’t falling. And, they’re clearly NOT championship material if the treys aren’t falling and they’re not guarding with a passion. They have to move the ball to get wide-open looks. They can’t just launch fall-aways then pose for the cameras.
*Golden State let Memphis hit only 38% overall (after 45% in all three prior games)
*Golden State forced 16 Memphis turnovers (after 15, 13, and 14 the prior games)
Defense wins championships! Golden State finally remembered that.
Does this mean that the Memphis series is over? And that the Warriors will now be positioned to storm the rest of the brackets?
Wednesday’s Vegas Line: Golden State by 10, total of 195
The markets sure respect them. They are prohibitive favorites to get past Memphis because they have two home games if needed. The Warriors will be favored over the Clippers in the Western Finals even if Chris Paul is able to run at full speed (probably around -6 at home, and pick-em on the road).
JIM HURLEY has a lot of respect for what the Warriors can do when everything is clicking. But, he also knows this is a group that loses focus easily when things start to go well. They try to put on a show rather than sealing the deal. Will that come into play Wednesday at this high Game Six line? You have to be a paying customer to find out!
You can purchase the final word for Wednesday right here at the website with your credit card (the best bets from this game, Washington/Atlanta, and baseball). If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure to check on combination packages that include basketball, baseball, and this Saturday’s Preakness! Will we have a Triple Crown winner this year?
Back tomorrow for more NBA Playoff action…
Thursday: Game Six Preview of Chicago/Cleveland
Friday: Game Six Preview from either Washington/Atlanta or Memphis/GS
Saturday: Early Look at a Sunday Game Seven
Sunday: Game Seven Preview if any other series go the distance
There won’t be any basketball Saturday. So, we’ll use that report to provide an early look for at a Game Seven Sunday if there’s one to cover. Next week…look for intensive coverage of both the Eastern and Western finals. Even with some early series surprises, the cream is rising in a way that will set up some great matchups.
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