Execution, poise matter more than adjustments for Celtics, Warriors in Game 5

0 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO — Will the Warriors’ Steve Kerr start Kevon Looney or Otto Porter? How high up the floor will Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka push his bigs in an attempt to slow the Stephen Curry pick-and-roll?

Tactical questions remain in a 2-2 NBA Finals.

However, there aren’t any big secrets left.

“I think anytime you get to this point in the season, there’s not many huge adjustments you can make,” Draymond Green said Sunday, one day before a crucial Game 5. “Like I’ve said before, they know who you are, you know who they are. You’re not going back to reinvent the wheel. You’re not going back to change your playbook. You’re not going back to change your personnel. I think in understanding that, you have to do what you do to the best of your ability.”

The Celtics’ Grant Williams agreed, adding that the Warriors have executed a little better through four games.

“I feel like they’re just disciplined. That’s where that maturity comes in,” Williams said of the Warriors. “They’ve been here many times before, so they try not to beat themselves, even if they do have one or two breakdowns or turnovers that lead to open baskets, they still execute and do what they need to do…

“I feel like that maturity side of things in the sense of like discipline and that’s where the difference has been, less so adjustments and everything else.”

It has been an even series despite the four not close endings — the Warriors are +1 point through four games. It’s the same across the four factors: Golden State’s eFG% is 54.2%, Boston is 53.7%; the Celtics are turning the ball over on 13.3% of their possessions, the Warriors 13.5%; the offensive rebound rates are 23.5 to 23.3 in favor of Boston.

Five games in, there are no silver bullet adjustments left. It comes down to execution and discipline. Boston in particular struggled with that in the final eight minutes of Game 4, when their offense got stagnant.

“Last game a lot of time we had six-point leads and then we took a bad shot on offense or had a turnover or we had a lapse of judgment on the defensive end and gave up open threes,” Williams said. “Things like that, just like the mental blips.

“I feel like we haven’t been the most disciplined team this series between the two teams, but that’s something where we can improve and really make some improvements on.”

The Warriors’ discipline has paid off in the face of a long, athletic Celtics’ defense.

“It’s about being poised, taking our time, executing our offense,” Otto Porter said of scoring against Boston. “I think if we take our time and not get sped up it will work better in our favor.”

The Celtics’ defense has a way of speeding things up, if the Warriors can keep their poise in Game 5, they can take a series lead and snap Boston’s 7-0 record this postseason after a loss.

But it will all come down to execution.