Stephen Curry has done this to plenty of defenders — pull them out to the arc, pretend to start his drive, pull back, get them off balance, then blow by them.
But Tuesday night he did it to Rudy Gobert. Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Best rim protector in the league, and a guy who can handle himself out on the perimeter on a switch.
It was part of a night where the Warriors were off from three but were getting in the lane and getting buckets to make up for it on their way to a dominant win. The Warriors can play better, and I’m not sure there are a lot of good adjustments for the Jazz to make.
Reports: Former NBA star Brandon Roy shot in leg while visiting family in Los Angeles
Brandon Roy, the former Portland Trail Blazers’ All-Star guard, was down in the Los Angles area last weekend visiting his grandmother when he was shot in the leg outside her home, according to multiple reports.
He has recovered, and in fact is back up in Washington where he is a high school coach, according to the reports.
Stephen Curry was just 1-of-4 from three, while Andre Iguodala was 0-of-6, and the Warriors as a team shot just 7-of-29, or 24.1 percent, from beyond the arc. The Warriors biggest weapon was misfiring Tuesday night.
So Golden State relied on its defense.
The Warriors held Utah scoreless for more than the first four minutes of the game, and ultimately to an offensive rating of 100.8 points per 100 possessions, more than six points fewer than the Jazz’s regular season number. Utah shot just 31 percent from three. People seemed to forget that Golden State’s defense was 1.6 points per 100 better than Utah this season, but they won’t after Game 1.
That defense led to 29 transition points from the Warriors, which led to a fast start and eventually a comfortable 106-94 Warriors win over the Jazz Tuesday night. The Warriors now lead the series 1-0 with Game 2 on Thursday at Oracle.
It was a dominant performance from the Warriors, and the game posed a lot of questions for the Jazz they are not going to be able to answer. Utah defended the arc well, but Golden State pulled Rudy Gobert out on the perimeter and that left the paint open for backdoor cuts and more easy baskets for the Warriors. It also led to this.
It was a classic Warriors game in the sense that they played good defense most of the time, then relied on wild offensive runs to pull away. Utah did a good job trying to take away the three ball (again, the Warriors weren’t great from deep) but Golden State countered with backdoor cuts and other plays to get buckets inside. That plus the transition buckets was enough offense that the Warriors were putting up numbers despite a pace slower than they would have liked.
While the Golden State stars were good, when the team really took control of the game was runs at the start of the second and fourth quarters — when it was the Warriors’ bench in the game. It’s also when the Jazz sat Gobert and Hayward, leaving Utah struggling on both ends.
For Utah, there are things they can tighten up defensively for Game 2 — transition comes to mind — but if they don’t find a way to get some consistent offense this is going to be a short series. And the Warriors defense is not going to make getting buckets easy.
Markieff Morris cleared to play in Game 2, will start against Celtics
This had to make coach Scott Brooks happy — the Wizards need Morris in this series. In Game 1, the Wizards were +7 with him on the court. Boston likes to play small with Al Horford at the five, Morris allows the Wizards to match that lineup and hold their own. Morris also brings some toughness and attitude to the front court.
In an adorable pregame “press conference” Boston’s Isaiah Thomas asked his son, Jaden, about how to stop John Wall. Jaden says he practices in his backyard, and “get fast shoes.” Oh, and “block his dunk.”
If Jaden’s dad can do that the Celtics will go up 2-0 in their second round series against the Wizards by the end of the night. If only it were that easy.