Tuesday, May 30 2023

Draymond, Kerr explain Dubs’ unique strategy to defend Russ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Not only are the third-quarter Warriors back with their 115-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday at Chase Center, but Golden State also unveiled a new strategy to defend Russell Westbrook: Leave him as open as possible.

Speaking with reporters after the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr explained why he had Draymond Green sag so far off the former NBA MVP.

“Draymond, as a centerfielder is, I think, the best in the league,” Kerr said. “I mean, there’s nobody who can kind of muck up the lane like he can and just ready what’s happening, help everywhere he needs to help, and then come in and rebound.”

Kerr also made it a point to praise Donte DiVincenzo and Klay Thompson for their concerted efforts to rebound the ball and impact the game that way.

“Between Draymond and [Kevon Looney] directing the defense, our guards getting back on the glass, defending without fouling, for the most part, and just staying solid, I think we’re finding something,” Kerr added.

After the Warriors’ new defensive scheme went viral, Green revealed how the process for coming up with that unique game plan came about.

“… Coach texted me yesterday … and he hinted that would be that gameplan,” Green said. “And then we went through it this morning in shootaround and try and get everybody to grasp the concept — it’s very easy when a guy is sagging off like that, when a guy catches it, you just rotate to him and we didn’t want to do that.”

The Warriors’ defensive ace also explained that the game plan worked because it got into Westbrook’s head.

“We got Russ to miss some shots but I think when you have a game plan like that … what that does to you mentally is tough,” Green continued. “And I think it was more so the mental than his shot.

“And so I thought we did a good job of sticking with the game plan and we were able to muddy the game up for them on the defensive side and it ended up working for us.”

Westbrook has never been a deep threat but Thursday’s game proved just how important it is to develop a 3-point shot in today’s NBA.

The former MVP scored eight points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field and missed all five of his shots from beyond the arc.

RELATED: Report: Steph ‘intends’ to play in Warriors-Lakers on Sunday

With how the Warriors have changed basketball over the last decade, it makes sense for them to continue finding ways to change the game.

And Thursday showed perhaps an effective way of slowing down the retooled Clippers: By leaving Westbrook as open as possible.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


Game Recap: Warriors 115, Clippers 91


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