For the second series in a row, the Golden State Warriors are down 2-1. After defeating the Sacramento Kings in a dramatic 7 game opening round, the Warriors once again face a formidable obstacle.
Now, Stephen Curry and Golden State have to come back from down 2-1 against LeBron James and the streaking Los Angeles Lakers. Although James and Anthony Davis are the main issues, Golden State has to defeat a very deep Los Angeles team, while not having home court advantage at the moment. To make the comeback, Golden State has to do three very important things.
1. Win the Free Throw battle
So far, the Los Angeles Lakers have SERIOUSLY beaten the Warriors at the free throw line. Not simply in their percentage when shooting at the line, but they have also dominated the Warriors in getting to the line.
In Game 3, the Los Angeles Lakers attempted 2.13 free throws for every free throw the Warriors attempted. All conversations about officiating aside, Golden State needs to get to the line. With the incredible shooters and free throw shooters the Warriors have, getting to the basket has to be a priority. With Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole all being ELITE shooters, there is absolutely no excuse for a lack of attempts at the basket.
Yes, Anthony Davis is a force to be reckoned with at the rim, but simply eliminating an entire part, and a very important part, of the Golden State game is what will lead to easy wins for LA.
2. Use, and abuse, the Pick and Roll
Steph Curry and Draymond Green are one of the most historically dangerous pick and roll partners the NBA has ever seen. Understanding that, the Lakers have made plenty of adjustments to try and neutralize the incredible efficiency in that two-man game.
But, it's hard to neutralize Steph Curry, something the greatest point guard of all-time knows well.
"Obviously they know that the pick and roll, with Draymond in his sweet spot and the pocket passing, that's when we are at our best. They made their adjustments, but ya know, we'll make adjustments too," said Curry with a smile following Game 3 in LA.
When the offense runs through Curry, it's hard to stop. When the ball moves through Curry, it's almost impossible to stop. Getting back to their offense, and playing at their pace, will be imperative for the Dubs.
3. Let Chef Curry Cook
So far in the NBA Playoffs, Curry is 3rd in points per game, and 3rd in true shooting percentage, If you want buckets, call #30 and he will get them for you. I could go on and on about all of the ways Curry is setting records and doing incredible things with a basketball, but you can hear that anywhere.
At the end of the day Curry is the best player on the Warriors. If Golden State is going to beat the Lakers, Steve Kerr needs to gameplan his butt off to get the ball in Curry's hands early and often. This is not the time to play around with Jordan Poole or anyone else running the show, Strap up and let Chef Curry cook, and I think Warriors fans will like the results.