Let’s assume that there is actually one, first and foremost. Golden State lost again on their home court, after a match in which they seemed to be very confused on defense. Or maybe relaxed, as they took for granted once again the duel versus the Clippers. Los Angeles Clippers outscored them in the paint 54-38. This is saying something about the Warriors defense, which was not to be seen last night, as Montrezl Harrell scored many of his 25 points by easy, open dunks. Lou Williams also had a monstrous game, scoring 33 points while dishing 10 assists, as well as hitting a clutch and-1 three-pointer with very few minutes left in the 4th quarter. So, you should give all the credit to the young (except for Lou) Clippers for playing their hearts out in a much needed win. Everybody thought that this will be a blow-out game for the Warriors.
Even though the Warriors can maybe use the “relaxation” excuse, there is something that can be taken out of this First Round series, a factor that can stand in their way to the final goal. Bench points. In this series, they got outscored each and every time by the opponent’s bench.
Let’s take a look at the situation from Game 1 to Game 5. In the first game, Warriors bench got outscored 65-22, in Game 2, that historical comeback, 83-45, Game 3 59-45, Game 4 37-18, Game 5 59-17. That’s a huge difference. Ok, not every team has an Lou Williams on their roster, but if you need to find that tiny crack in the Warriors system, you need to exploit the bench at maximum, because you can’t outscore their starting five in four games, obviously. Also, if they face off a team that has a skilled big man, such as Denver or Milwaukee, for example, they will have huge problems in defending those type of players in the paint.
Their defense seems to be off at times, especially the defense played by the second unit. Comebacks are often made by second units, so even if you have three potentially scoring machines on your roster, the deficit can be erased at times in the second or the late third quarter/ early fourth. Of course, they are still clearly the favorites to win it all, but you need to take in consideration every small gap that they give you, because there are not too many of those in the Warriors’ style of play.