2022 NBA Finals: Nine Plays That Explain Warriors’ Game 5 Victory Over Celtics

Golden State Warriors are one victory away from the championship. In a way, their Game 5 win was the exact opposite of their Game 4 win – when Stephen Curry lit up TD Garden for 43 points on a 14-for-26 shoot on Friday, he scored 7-for-4. Make only 16 points on 22 shots. In their 104-94 victory at the Chase Center on Monday. In another way, it was very similar – the Warriors won by 10 points, shutting down the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter and overcame an ineffective offensive performance.

Here are nine plays that explain Game 5:

1. Hey man, good start

In the first four games of the NBA Finals, Golden State slowly shifted its attack to Curry, who runs the High Pick and Rules. It launched Game 5, however, with the Classic Warriors Movement. Curry hands the ball to Otto Porter Jr., then cuts along the base line, with El Horford’s face protecting it. When Porter slips the screen, there is no rum protection, as Robert Williams III is protecting the ball and Hurford Curry is busy:

The Celtics have done a great job defending Golden State’s off-ball actions, but that doesn’t mean coach Steve Kerr is going to default to static picks and rolls. The Warriors want Boston to deal with a number of operations because each operation requires defenders to think and communicate.

The first possession of the game provided a clear microcosm of the battle of the ball near Golden State. Defending the fighters is tiring, and they believe that if they continue to run their own business, the opponent will eventually lose. Scores against the Celtics are tiring, and they believe that, if they stop and limit their mistakes, the opponent will eventually lose. Here, Golden State beat the switch with a slip, but Dreammond Green had to keep his pass perfectly and Porter had to kick Jason Tatum’s outstretched arms.

The bucket was the start of a 14-4 Warriors race with only two points for Curry.

2. Simple game

In the opening win of the Boston series, Tatum made 13 assists and Horford made six 3s. In Game 3, the Celtics’ second win, Tatum got nine assists and effectively hit the curry. This second-quarter takeover, which ended with Tatum’s Harford Kickout 3, illustrates what has worked aggressively for Boston in this series:

Tatum, with a good place around him, got into the paint, knocked down the defense, forced Andre Agodala to think he was going to Jillian Brown in the corner, and hit Horford for the Open 3. The problem with Boston is that it’s almost not enough. It was Celtics’ only second 3-pointer in the game – they lost their first 12 – and Tatum finished with four assists. It is no coincidence that all of his other aides came in the third quarter, which he dominated.

“It’s a simple ball movement when we’re at our best,” said Boston coach Ime Udoka. “I think the third quarter showed it. The drive and kick were beautiful, working, the guys were getting wide open shots.”

3. The way they pulled it.

Here’s a weird sequence: After a double team at Tatum and Steel, Curry refused to take Pull Up 3 in transition, perhaps because he was intimidated by Robert Williams III. He gives the ball to Green, who gives a left pass to Clay Thompson from the opposite side. Thompson attacked Harford’s close-out, then went 17 feet or more into a one-legged runner over Williams. Watch Green’s reaction when it goes in:

Thompson finished with 21 points from 14 shots for 7, including 11 for 5 in depth. This is an objectively ridiculous shot. To participate in any NBA game, skip Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but this is Thompson, so it was not surprising when he entered.

Why did I include it? Because the Warriors had nine steels in two of Boston’s, and five of those Golden State steels went straight to the bucket at the other end. (Remaining four: Curry misses three pull-ups and a tech foul.) We’ve seen it before.

4. Surprise!

The Celtics did not completely change how they defended Curry, but they did choose to be more aggressive. Here, they cast a double team surprise on him, but Curry calmly removes Tatum from his path, continues the investigation, and searches for Gary Payton II for a take-up with a crisp, lefty pass:

It’s my favorite of Curry’s eight aides, and it shows why the Celtics are reluctant to hit the ball against him. He lost all nine of his 3 pointers, but still left his mark on the game.

“It’s just using this aggression against them,” Curry said. “Getting into the paint. The fact is, you know, I don’t know if I have more than five assists in the first four games, and it grows tomorrow, and we still have a lot left because our There are different ways to attack you, even if I’m not just trying to hunt for shots. It’s all just a matter of feeling. And obviously you’ll never lose your aggression even if you don’t make the shots as you normally would.

5. This is one. fast Break up

After trailing by five, the Warriors made a series of transition dramas at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth to regain momentum. You may remember Jordan Poles. Banked in, big betting 3But here’s another one that would be annoying to watch in a movie where Green and Patton are acting at full speed:

It’s a defense of the terrible transition by Boston, and a symbol of the Golden State mentality. It wasn’t a curry game, so it needed to add points, but it could happen. In this case, it means that when the Warriors don’t have numbers, Green speeds up and sends bounce passes where he needs to convert 2 to 3 breaks into two points – just in time. ۔

“Boston’s reaction to the race was the key to the game for me,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said after the win.

Green has spoken of playing with “power” in virtually every press conference during the finals. This is not just a physical defense game. That means making such offensive plays, adding more scoring chances than thin air against a defense that many of them don’t allow.

6. Strict look

With nine minutes left and the Warriors 13-0, Marcus Smart ran a drawable hand off Brownway off the 3 point line. It was so high that Green, who was protecting Smart, went under the screen. Instead of trying to defend Poole’s second action, Brown made Green one-on-one. They can make this pull-up 3, but it’s not easy:

I think Green gave Brown some space, but, with 14 on the shot hour, a loss of 11 points, I don’t like that shot. The Celtics had a small margin of error at the time, so they had to look for more than one action, one isolated asset, unless the guy defending that loneliness was a weak defender. It was a tough look after Boston regretted the offense of playing late in the previous game.

Adoka suggested that fatigue had affected the team’s decision-making.

7. Wiggins saves the day

I thought it was a terrible decision by Andrew Wiggins before the shooting:

Curry looks at Wiggins after the pass, points to Thompson first and then calls the ball himself. Wiggins has other ideas, with two dribbles going right into the hook against Horford. It seemed very ambitious to me, but it probably shouldn’t have been – he had already made several competitive shots out of bounce, and he would score almost the same goal against Williams in a few minutes.

Wiggins finished with 26 points, 12-for-23 shooting and 13 rebounds. He earned his points in every way, not just by crashing the glass, hitting the floor and hitting the spot-up 3s. (In fact, he lost all six of his three-point attempts.) When Curry was cool and the team needed him to guarantee a possession, he was bound to do so. How is he doing

“She is definitely confident,” Kerr said. “He’s definitely enjoying the playoffs. He loves the challenge. He loves the competition. And he’s got a big role in our team, and I think that’s empowered him. He knows. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

8. GPII frees Steph.

With less than five minutes on the clock at 10 a.m., Golden State ran its trusted post-splitts – Payton passes Green through the frame, then sets the screen for Curry, only this time Curry didn’t use it. What, instead of being cut into paint? , Where Green found it for floaters:

It’s great to read it with Curry’s Smart Top Lock, and it’s another great Green pass. But it is also an example of the warriors getting used to their opponent – they know that Williams is ignoring Patton, which makes him a dangerous screener. And Curry knows that Williams is expecting him to come out of the screen on the left, so the rim protector is only a step or two away from reaching the shot.

9. Not the kind of ‘power’ you want.

This is Tatum driving against Wiggins, picking up his dribble and missing the turnaround jumper over the green:

No passing, no screening, nothing. The Warriors are very good defensively for this point of view. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly. But it was disappointing, especially given how the Golden State was playing aggressively.