Warriors torch Mavericks with Kerrball; all hail the rise of Kuminga
Another W against a team over .500!
It’s a hard time to be a fan of this team. Two members of the Big 3 have missed extended time with injuries, other players have been in and out of the line up with COVID protocols, and we have a former MVP guard who isn’t scoring like we’re used to seeing. That guard expressed his frustration:
Oh wait, NVM this isn’t NetsNationHQ!
My bad. I meant it’s hard to root for franchise that totally needs to trade for one more piece who is going to take this franchise over the top, a clutch superstar who we know can bring this team back to the promised land. Even if we have to send out Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, and Andrew Wiggins to get him! But who could that be? Oh that’s right, BRADLEY BEAL.
Actually, maybe it’s a good thing this team didn’t trade for Beal.
In all seriousness, it’s really hard to win in the NBA with all the pitfalls like injuries, chemistry, talent level etc. And yet the Dubs somehow keep on winning, and doing it against a good teams like the Dallas Mavericks, who they destroyed in Chase Center last night 130-92. That gives the Dubs a 35-13 record (good enough for 2nd best in the NBA) and a 17-10 record against winning teams (the Mavs are currently the fifth seed in the West).
Kerrball bests Coach Kidd’s elite defense
“(Kerr) The seven-time NBA champion approaches basketball from a mystical, almost religious point-of-view. He truly believes the ball generates energy as it moves, and the more times the ball is passed, the more likely it ends up in the hoop. He wants the Warriors to pass the ball 300 times every game. He commands two or three of the most dominant offensive talents of a generation, and he often wants them to set back screens so role players can get open shots.”
Recently Duby Dub Dubs broke down some fun charts of play type frequency for NBA offenses, grouping teams into their styles. The Warriors were the only squad that didn’t rely heavily on pick-and-roll, while their opponents were clumped into the PnR area of the graph.
This angers many Steph Curry fanatics who want to see Curry put up 2017 level Hardenian numbers on a nightly basis. They’d be happy sitting Klay Thompson in the corner while Curry puts on a Harlem Globetrotter dribbling exhibition, snaking in and around an on-ball screen, looking to jack a shot at a moment’s notice. And why not? Curry’s hella good at it, arguably the best ever.
But the style Kerr demands from GSW shys away from that (until the playoffs) in favor of off-ball screens, cuts off screens, and handoffs. Detractors of this offense claim that the ball often ends up in a non-Curry’s hands whether by a shot or a turnover.
Last night against a dangerous Mavericks squad that came into the game ranked 4th in defensive rating thanks to new head coach Jason Kidd (one of the greatest hoopers ever from the Bay), we saw Kerrball unleashed even without it’s quarterback Draymond Green.
GSW shredded Dallas’ elite defense for 53% shooting from the field, and 39% shooting from beyond the arc. The Dubs had four starters score in double-figures despite none of them playing more than 29 minutes. Curry shot 2-of-10 from three-point range and it didn’t matter (he also added 9 rebounds and 7 assists).
Kerr loves to force the defense into mind puzzles and cardio tests where they have to navigate and communicate through a thicket of screens. They’re lured into a deadly dance as the Dubs swirl around them in a perpetual motion machine.
This actually opens up the game for isolation creativity where guys who have the skills can get jiggy with it against a defense unsure of where the onslaught is coming from. Whereas other teams use individual dribbling exhibitions as their main weapon, the Warriors keep it in their back pocket to punish teams for being too worried about stopping the off-ball machinations.
For example: with everyone stuck worrying about who is cutting backdoor or who is flaring out for a three, now Jordan Poole gets opportunities to get busy and show off his bag of tricks.
Like a football team that runs repeatedly to make the defense stack the line of scrimmage and become vulnerable to a pass, or a UFC fighter who flicks kicks at their opponent’s legs only to make them more susceptible to a devastating head kick, the Warriors’ offense sets up defenses for failure by giving them a steady diet of one attack that ultimately sets up another counter.
It’s chess, not checkers!
BTW, this isn’t to say that the Dubs should never run straight up PnR or isolations. I’m saying it’s clear the team thrives with the Kerrball philosphy. Chemistry is high, everyone’s getting touches on the court, and everyone’s eager to play defense.
And when they do use on-ball screens, it can act as a setup for even more hellacious action.
Oh and another thing: Jonathan Kuminga is going to take Kerrball to the next level if he keeps balling like this! 22 points and 5 rebounds on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, and he hit all four of his triples lmao.
"There's a makeup in every player who's ever played," Kerr says, "that if you get to touch the ball and you get to be a part of the action -- whether it's as an assist man, ball mover, shooter, dribbler -- the more people who are involved in the offense, the more powerful it becomes."
As GM Bob Myers puts it: "All of us want to be part of something."
Tim Hardaway Jr., a key part of Dallas’ title hopes and the son of a Warrior legend, unfortunately hurt his foot last night.
The NBA is a meatgrinder and no team is safe. That makes it all the more special what the Warriors are accomplishing despite what feels like non-stop waves of injury updates and anxious speculation about when guys like Draymond Green and James Wiseman will return.
Hopefully this team gets to the playoffs in one piece; but for those members of Dub Nation fretting over it, keep in mind that everyone has to deal with that problem too. Keep hope alive, baby!