Game 3 Warriors Starting Lineup Breakdown – Go Here
Note: This is the Game 2 Breakdown
It was a tough game one for the Golden State Warriors, who couldn’t quite pull off their second half run to overtake Toronto. It was a 118-109 loss for the Warriors, and there are looming reports of Kevin Durant returning midway through the series. DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t much of a factor, and with his conditioning it is hard to see him being one. Stephen Curry was the top scorer, while the rest of the team struggled offensively. They also struggled slowing down Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam in Game 1.
Game 1 Warriors Recap
It was a tough game for the Warriors in Game 1, as they struggled to get their offense going at times. This was going to be a tough series because of Toronto defensively, but Golden State’s defense struggled as well. They were not able to overpower Toronto in the second half, which they have become historically known to do to other teams. Steve Kerr did go to his bench and play Kevon Looney 28 minutes, and he struggled to make much of an impact. Both Klay Thompson and Steph Curry shot over 15 times, but it was Curry who got to the line 14 times.
Sure, Draymond Green had a triple double, but he shot 2-9 from the field, and only had one steal. We weren’t expecting much from Demarcus Cousins, as he had just eight minutes and didn’t hit a field goal. It was surprising to see Andrew Bogut not start, but also not to get any minutes at all. With Marc Gasol having his way in Game 1, Steve Kerr is going to have to adjust. Andre Iguodala had an MRI, but his calf is reportedly good to go. This is still a concern for Golden State, who need him as a defender, but also a ball handler to play the guards off the ball.
Warriors Starting Lineup
Stephen Curry, PG – It was another 30+ point game for Stephen Curry in game one, but a lot of his damage was done at the line. Curry is going to have a tough time getting going with Fred VanVleet on him, who has shut him down historically and in Game 1. Look for Curry to log another 40 minute game, and his foul trouble wasn’t there in Game 1, but in the playoffs he has had a few games sitting early. He led all players in Game 1 in usage, and he had a 24% assist rate. Curry still had a 108 offensive rating, but a putrid 120.7 defensive rating.
Klay Thompson, SG – The shooting was a little bit better for Klay Thompson in Game 1. He was another heavy minutes player at 39. Thompson struggled defensively, but also didn’t see that high of a usage. In prior rounds, Thompson was pushing a near 30% usage with Durant out. He sat at 22.5%. This is once again credit to Toronto’s defense. Both sides of the ball will need help from Thompson moving forward. The one positive is that his TS% went up from the Portland series, where he struggled a bit. Thompson had 17 shot attempts, but to get 21 points is not efficient.
Andre Iguodala, SF – There was an injury scare for Andre Iguodala, but the calf MRI has come back clean. He played 29 minutes, but wasn’t overly effective. He had seven assists, which was second on the team to Draymond Green. Iggy was -8. Iguodala will have to exert himself on both sides, which might be trouble at his age. There are reports of Kevin Durant returning in Games 3 and 4, which would be a huge lift for the team. Durant is out for Game 2, so Iguodala is going to need to pick up his play in a starting role.
Draymond Green, PF – This is where the triple-double can overshadow bad play. Draymond Green had six turnovers, was -8, and shot 2-of-9. Green was also part of the front court that let Gasol and Siakam have their way. He had a 19% usage rate in Game 1, and a 37% assist rate. We should still expect Green to have the offense run through him at times to generate space for Curry and Thompson. With the defense of Ibaka, Siakam, and Gasol in Game 1, it might be tough for Green to produce more than he has already.
Jordan Bell, C – Steve Kerr opted to start Jordan Bell, and we haven’t gotten any word on who would start Game 2. There was a major mismatch in Game 1. Kevon Looney started the most minutes t center, with Jordan Bell and DeMarcus Cousins playing limited minutes. This is going to be a rotating position, at least until Durant comes back. Looney is going to be the most useful, but will likely continue to come off the bench. Once or if Durant returns, Green will soak up some minutes at the five.
As mentioned above, Kevon Looney was the bigger name off the bench. He played 28 minutes in Game 1, and was the most effective big. DeMarcus Cousins played just eight minutes, and struggled on both ends. This isn’t shocking with his durability, and some rust from the injury. Steve Kerr managed to use a few guards, but they played less than ten minutes. Shaun Livingston played the most at 18, but more so just in relief of Curry and Thompson. Given it is the NBA Finals, we are not going to see a ton of bench minutes.