Daily MVP Film Breakdown: Warriors Clicking as Cousins Returns

The Golden State Warriors have been playing up to their potential lately, and that’s a terrifying thing.

The Warriors didn’t dominate the way most expected them to in the first third of the season, but that seems to be correcting itself. They haven’t lost in regulation since Christmas, and they’re averaging 134 points per game (!) in January. They came into Denver second best in the West, but changed that very quickly. Golden State scored 51 points and a team record 10 three-point shots in the first quarter, overtaking the Nuggets at the top of the standings.

The highest scoring first quarter in NBA history resulted from unselfish ball movement between some of the best players in the history of the game. Kevin Durant finished the quarter with 17 points, but he started the game as a facilitator. Klay Thompson is shooting 47% from deep in January, and Durant kept finding him off of simple screens for easy makes. Denver was a step slow defensively all night.

Durant also shares the court with another all time great shooter, though his name escapes me.

Durant and Draymond Green had a very heated, very public spat earlier in the year, but the chemistry on the court has been superb. KD’s gravitational pull on the defense is tremendous, and Green remains one of the most dynamic passing forwards in the game.

Steph Curry doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the tiny things he does to create openings for his immensely talented teammates.

Curry’s creative, uniquely dangerous passing also isn’t talked about nearly enough. He sees lanes that few others can, tries things most players wouldn’t, and makes it work regularly.

Of course, Curry’s calling card is his ridiculous shooting. He put the range on display as the game went on, flat out ripping it from over 30 feet.

Somehow, defenders are still losing track of Stephen Curry in 2019. This should be punished with 50 lashes in front of the team during film sessions every time it happens.

This example is from later in the contest, but it’s a staple of Steph’s game. He drives, passes under the basket to a shooter on the wing, and runs to the corner next to him as the defense panic rotates to the guy with the ball. It almost always gets the greatest shooter ever the easiest 3 in the game.

Even when Steph misses, it winds up working out for the Dubs. It helps when those long rebounds wind up in the hands of one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game.

KD is an absolute menace when he puts the ball on the floor. He can pull up from anywhere, or get all the way to the rim in two extendo-leg steps.

At the end of the quarter, Durant put his full scoring skill set on display. He started with an early clock pull up three from deep to ensure a two for one opportunity, and then took that second possession all the way to the rim.

Golden State is firing on all cylinders after a rockier than expected start. The ball movement is spectacular, guys are playing for each other, and it’s a historic amount of firepower. Oh yeah, and they have DeMarcus Cousins making his season debut tonight. The rest of the league better hope Boogie somehow manages to wreck this Death Star from the inside, otherwise it’s pretty much over.

Daily previews of matchups to watch around the league, and film breakdowns of the best performance from the night before. Twitter @RealTomPetrini, Spurs interviews and analysis @projectspurs.

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