After the Rockets spanked Golden State in Game 2, spirits were understandably demure in the locker room. The 127-105 scoreline doesn’t begin to describe Golden State’s inability to contest shots on the perimeter. In the post-game presser, Steph Curry admitted as much, “They made shots, we were just a step slow on our rotations and our switches.” The pendulum often swings quite violently when one team suffers an off-night beyond the arc, and the other a windfall of confidence. If adjustments aren’t made on the defensive end, sometimes the scoreline can reflect a pig pen at feeding time.
Steph Curry described his team’s defensive commitment as “too cute.” The Warrior’s point guard knows that if they are to defend the Rocket’s offensive schematics they will have to bring the same level of intensity on the defensive end. The Rockets draw up schemes to create defensive mismatches. When they drive possession it can often lead to open looks on the perimeter. Paul and Harden are dangerous because they create offense for their teammates playing off the ball. They disguise their best intentions as mere knee jerk reactions. This duality has the effect of creating lapses in defensive coverage as the players converge on the floor, mostly by design. Of course, the Golden State Warriors are generally good at keeping pace. Tune in for Game 3 on Sunday at 8 P.M. We may be in line for fire wagon basketball, as both teams are intent on playing to their strengths, and not the opponent’s weaknesses.