The Celtics were able to play good defense throughout the game last night but particularly in the fourth quarter. They held the Warriors to eleven points in that quarter. The Warriors shot five for fifteen from the floor and only one of nine on threes in that quarter. Robert Williams who has played the series in pain led the defense. Williams had four blocks, eight points and ten rebounds in the game and took away easy baskets for Golden State by being a presence in the paint.
The only defensive problem Boston had was with Steph Curry coming off screens on pick and rolls. This was because Al Horford didn’t come out high enough to challenge him. This allowed Curry to get clean looks at the basket. Curry with a clean look is close to automatic. Boston seemed to adjust and take away the clean look Curry was getting in the fourth quarter by having their big step a little higher.
The other key factor was Boston’s size advantage. Boston out rebounded Golden State forty-seven to thirty-one and fifteen to six on the offensive boards. This allowed Boston to extend possessions leading to baskets. With Boston’s size advantage and Golden State not having a shot blocker in the game the Celtics scored fifty-two points in the paint. The Celtics also forced Curry to defend, within the flow of their offense. Marcus Smart scored ten points on drives and post ups usually with the smaller Curry defending him.
Good News/Bad News for the Warriors
On the positive side for the Warriors, Klay Thompson had his first good offensive game of the series. He scored twenty-five points and was five for thirteen from three. If Golden State is going to win this series Thompson needs to continue shooting like this.
Draymond Green, a factor in game two, was non existent, having more fouls than shots, points, rebounds or assists. He didn’t bother Boston like he did in game two. With Green guarding Jaylen Brown, he was able to get to the basket effectively early in the game.
If Golden State is going to come back in the series Green must be the instigator and play a larger role in the game. With Boston’s height advantage especially when Rob Williams is in the game, Golden State needs to make their threes at a high percentage as it appears to be their best way to score. Golden State shot thirty-eight percent last night as compared to forty-one percent in game two. Curry’s poor shooting in the fourth quarter could have been because Boston forced him to defend and it wore him down.
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