The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are tied at a game apiece in the 2015 NBA Finals, while this has been a great series so far the Warriors have still been disappointing to some degree.
The Cavs have shown heart, the kind of heart the Detroit Pistons displayed in 2004, the kind of heart the Houston Rockets displayed while winning back-to-back titles in 1994-1995. Heart can’t be taught and players like Matthew Dellavedova, JR Smith and Timofey Mozgov are proving that talent alone isn’t enough to get the job done.
OK. Curry had a bad shooting game, it was bound to happen in this series but please stop with all the talk that Dellavedova is now the unofficial Curry stopper. Every great player has a bad game here and there, just so happens that his occurred in the Finals and was seen by millions. But in no way did “Delly” all of a sudden turn into Bruce Bowen over night. Most of Curry’s shots were open looks and some he had a hand in his face but just missed. S*** happens on the court, have you never played basketball before?
But I am here to talk about the adjustments that Steve Kerr must make if the Warriors have a chance at becoming champs.
Light a fire under Draymond Green:
I never thought I would be saying this about the emotional Green but he has not been himself in these Finals. I know guarding LeBron is hard work but Green has to make LeBron guard him as well. This is the same guy that went toe-to-toe with Zach Randolph last series so guarding LeBron on the low blocks should be a piece of cake. If James is posted out on the wing Green is athletic enough to keep pace with him. If Green is matched up against Tristan Thompson that should be an advantage for Green,but in the two games so far he has not been able to do too much on the offensive end. Green has shot 6-20 for only 22 points while grabbing 16 total rebounds and for someone that considers himself the best defensive player in the league he has not helped his cause much. As important as Steph is to the success of the Warriors Green is equally important as he is a mismatch for many of his opponents. Kerr needs to find a way to get his Forward into this series before it’s too late.
Stop Playing with Bogut Minutes:
What has worked for you during the regular season and most of the playoffs is not working for Kerr now. Bogut needs to play 30+ minutes. He is still a defensive force in the middle and they must find a way to keep James and Smith from driving to the lane at ease. Those 21 minutes he is averaging is not enough, this is not the 50th game of the season or Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals this is it for your team, it’s REALLY a win or go home situation, the Finals is what you have played all season for and Bogut must be on the floor. The small ball effect is not working so try the big boys a little while longer. Mozgov is giving Bogut all he can handle but when you keep taking him out, putting him back in, in spurts it takes away a players comfort level and we are seeing this with Bogut. He has only scored six points to go with 17 rebounds but if the Warriors want to win this series they must get better production from the paint on both ends of the ball.
Find a way To Get David Lee Minutes:
I am a bit disappointed in the way Kerr has used Lee this season. Lee is a former All Star that can provide quality minutes off the bench. Marreese Speights is a good player off the pine but so is Lee. At one point in his career he was easily a 20 point scorer and good rebounder. He may not be much of a defender but if you are looking for offense on the low blocks then Lee is your man. When the second unit comes in to play the Warriors should really look to exploit the Cavs weakness. With Speights and Lee in the game that will force Thompson and Mozgov to defend the Warriors more on the perimeter which should open up slashing lanes for Iguodala and Livingston on the wings.
Insert Andre Iguodala Into Starting Lineup:
Harrison Barnes has done a good job but Iggy is the X-Factor in this series for the Warriors. If the name of the game is stopping James then he is your best option. This move will free up more space for Green to operate and it will provide the Warriors a chance to get James into foul trouble as Iggy has the ability to create his own shot making James defend him from the perimeter on in. He is known as one of the best defenders in the league but Kerr is not taking advantage of his style. Not here to take noting away from Barnes but LeBron is killing him and Green from every spot on the floor. LeBron is not expending too much energy on the defensive end but with Iggy in the game that will change.
We are only two games into the Finals and both teams has had their troubles but the Warriors are the team that can look to a few players on the bench and actually get the help they need. Will Kerr take advantage of the players collecting splinters or will he continue to get out-coached by David Blatt and let this series slip away because of pride?