The audacious adjustment that won the Warriors Game 4

After two consecutive losses put his team on the ropes, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reached deep into his bag of tricks in Game 4 for an adjustment that helped set the tone for the entire contest: putting 7'0 center Andrew Bogut on 6'4 Tony Allen.

Considering the Memphis Grizzlies have one of the biggest and best frontcourts in the league, putting Bogut on Allen and shifting Harrison Barnes to Zach Randolph seemed crazy and reeked of desperation. However, the move worked beautifully, as Bogut spearheaded a superb defensive effort in a 101-84 victory.

While the move looked wacky on the surface, the rationale made it brilliant. Including the playoffs, Allen is 24-of-73 (under 33 percent) on shots outside the paint all season prior to Game 4. With this in mind, the plan was to have Bogut leave Allen on the perimeter so the big man could roam the paint and help on Randolph and Marc Gasol. Bogut didn't really "guard" Allen so much as he was empowered to play a one-man zone. If Allen beat the Warriors from the outside, so be it.

The impact of this decision was noticeable right from the start. On this possession not even two minutes into the game, Allen started camped out in the corner behind the arc and Bogut stayed down near the paint:

As Mike Conley dribbled left toward Allen, Bogut didn't budge:

Gasol rolled to the block as Randolph wheeled to the top of the key to receive a pass from Conley. Yet, the play short-circuits because Bogut continued to ignore Allen and doubled Gasol in the post:

Randolph tried to force the ball into Gasol in the post, but a turnover resulted because there was too much traffic.

Here's another possession a few minutes later. Gasol posted up Draymond Green, but Bogut again stayed put as Allen flared out to the opposite short corner. Barnes left Randolph to go help on Gasol, but because Bogut doesn't care about Allen, it was easy for him to pick up Barnes' assignment.

Gasol eventually found Allen wide open in the corner for three, but that's exactly what the Warriors want. Bogut happily conceded the jumper.

Allen missed the three badly and Barnes got the rebound with the help of Bogut's box out on Randolph.

Allen took four shots in the first quarter, all from outside the paint. He made one pull-up jumper and missed all three of his three-point attempts. All four of those shots were wide open. For the game, the defensive ace shot 2-of-9 in a tick under 16 minutes of play. He essentially became unplayable because of how the Warriors were ignoring him.

In Allen's 16 minutes of play, the Grizzlies scored just 70.7 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com. That was the worst mark on the team. Of course, while not having Allen on the floor may have helped the offense, it also hurt the defense. Memphis' defensive rating jumped from 95.4 with Allen to 107.4 with him on the bench in this game.

Meanwhile, the Warriors allowed just 70.5 points per 100 possessions in Bogut's 30 minutes on the floor, per NBA.com. The Grizzlies shot 37.5 percent from the field for the game, but that number was a woeful 30 percent with Bogut on the court. Memphis shot 39 percent in the paint and committed 16 turnovers with Bogut and the rest of the Warriors' defense swarming everywhere.

Kerr's adjustment to stick the big man on Allen turned out to be a brilliant one and a matchup we'll surely see moving forward in this series. Allen will either have to start knocking down jumpers or his teammates will have to pick up the slack. Conley and Gasol went 11-of-34 combined in Game 4, which doesn't cut it.

It's tougher to get quality shots when Bogut is always roaming the paint, but the Grizzlies will have to find a way.

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Comments

Good strategy.

my problem w/ the strategy: now everyone, including Grizz coaches, know

it’s too obvious and altho it may have caught the grizz off guard in game 4, surely they will have an answer for it in game 5

I think that's why Kerr & his staff waited to deploy it

If they’d used it earlier, Joerger would have had ample time to come up with an answer. Instead, the Grizzlies have a travel day going to Oracle, and limited practice time to work on Conley-Allen P&Rs (or whatever other options they have for countering.)

ifs thats true, even MORE props to Kerr and Co for not just the in-game strategy but the in-series strategy as well

I want to see Conley double teamed while on the court and see an offense like game 1 from the grizz

SERIOUSLY!?!?

The GRIZZLIES were caught off guard? In case you missed it, the Warriors simply have not shot the ball well this series. They lead the NBA in FG% (47.8%) and the Grizzlies are lucky they caught GSW during a shooting drought. Go back and look closer. Both Warrior wins were blowouts. Both Grizzly wins were close simply because the Warriors shot well below their season average. GSW shot 41.9% in game 2 and 43% in game 32. And before you credit MEM defense, Curry and Klay have been getting wide open shots every game. If the Warriors just just had normal shooting every game, they would have swept this series.

Dude, relax.

They’re GSOM guys. They’re rooting for the Warriors to win as hard as you are. They’re just going about it from a balanced perspective.

can't discredit the Memphis defense

shooting is as much rhythm and feel as "being open" and also factors in fatigue

a consistent disruption can knock off timing or force the shooter to rush or alter the shot..even when he doesn’t need to.

Discrediting the Grizzly defense wouldn't be smart

But neither would it be smart to give them too much credit. The Warriors have had plenty of open 3’s in games 2 and 3 and simply missed most of them, uncharacteristically.

It’s a pretty simple concept. When each team is on their game, respectively, the Grizzlies cannot beat the Warriors when Golden State is clicking, and they’re likely to get blown out. When Memphis is clicking, they’re in the Warriors’ head and knocking them off their game…and the Warriors still have a decent chance to win. Memphis must play a nearly perfect game to win AND hope the Warriors have trouble with their open looks.

this isnt NBA 2k15

you don’t ‘simply’ miss wide open threes. you get distracted by defense and you get outside of your own rhythm. Memphis does that a lot. teams that lose to Memphis lose like that a lot. so you want to say that Grizzlies won 56 times this season (and beat the Blazers) simply because their opponents ’didn’t shoot the ball well’ that night?

Warriors are much bigger of a bite, but they are no different in that perspective.

How far can you get in NBA2k15 with the Grizz? Jus' sayin

you don’t ‘simply’ miss wide open threes. you get distracted by defense and you get outside of your own rhythm. Memphis does that a lot. teams that lose to Memphis lose like that a lot.

memphis was 18th in opponent 3pt%, so please forgive me if i don’t believe you

I disagree...in the end, there's always things going on, and as a player you take so many reps in practice and in games for a reason

And that’s so it becomes so routine that whatever distractions are there, you can tune them out and it boils down to the shot itself. Being imperfect, sometimes even that is not enough, and they’ll miss because hey…3 pointers aren’t easy to make.

Regardless, I really don’t care what happened in the Grizzlies wins…we have the games in front of us, there’s only a few of them, so we should be capable of looking deeper into them to figure out what happened. In game 3, for example, the first quarter featured Curry missing 3 wide open threes. Very wide open. As a Grizzlies fan, would you could on that happening in say, game 5, or when those things happen do you think you’ve dodged a bullet?

Lol

It’s all about the Warriors beating themselves hug? Grizz had nothing to do with that? Ha. What a tool

strategy and adjustments

What answer would that be? Either Allen hits his shots, or his offensive weakness is very exploitable, allowing essentially a double team on either big; what adjustment can Joerger make?

well...

different rotations (less TA and more VC or something)

new strategy (use TA in a P-n-R to force Bogut to engage with the play)

Trust TA to actually hit a warm-up jumper in a game

there’s options for sure!

different rotations (less TA and more VC or something)

less TA is amazing for our offense

new strategy (use TA in a P-n-R to force Bogut to engage with the play)

we’d just go over every screen, leave allen, and let conley live with jumpers off the dribble

Trust TA to actually hit a warm-up jumper in a game

heheh

Lots of options

But not sure any of them are good ones. Anything that involves Allen being out hurts their defense a lot.

Allen in P-n-R seems like a decent idea, but I don’t think they’ve practiced this much. How effective will Allen be at setting the pick?

yeah idk

but that’s why their coaches make the big bucks, and I’m just some dude slacking off at the office

but the point is: there ARE options. None seem very awesome, but the Griz are good, they’ll figure something out

They'll make adjustments.

But we’ll still stop them. Because we have the basics down already.

1) double their bigs.
2) let them kick it out outside.
3) box out and get rebounds and don’t allow them to get 2nd chance points.

And our Basics are to:

1) move the ball around, don’t settle for 1 or two passes and shoot. Go for 3,4 and 5 and get our assist numbers to 25+
2) play Bogut and play Bogut at home.
3) to add more to our hustle plays, we need to run more when we get a stop. Don’t let their Biggs catch up to us and establish a tower underneath. Let’s run them to the ground more at every chance. And this will be over quickly.

I posted after game 3 that we play Bogut more and keep him there the whole game. And to keep him on the paint. They’re trying to play Hi-lo with Green and always dragging Bogut on top and Green at the bottom. We’re in a disadvantage there. That’s why they’re getting easy baskets underneath because they can back down Green and can get Offensive rebounds off a miss. Height is key, that’s why I don’t believe in going small. I wanted Bogut to stay low no matter if Gasol goes high. He can switch out with Green and he can take Zbo underneath. It’s like playing zone between our two Bigs. Green on top and Bogut underneath.

Kerr’s adjustment of Bogut taking Allen and leaving him open but staying home is like what I envisioned him playing. A one man Zone. I wanted him to stay home to collect rebounds and prevent Gasol and Zbo to get Offensive rebounds. I wanted our small forward Barnes or Iggy to drop down and help out our Biggs and double. And let their Biggs kick it out and let them beat us from the outside instead of the inside. So no matter what adjustments they make. Well still kick their butt. Because we already got the basics down. And that’s what happened when they took Allen out. We still kept our Bogut home. Doubled their Biggs early and try to get the ball out of Gasol.

It worked fine until Gasol got going in the 3rd quarter. They made their adjustments and spaced him out leaving Lee in no mans land 1 on 1 against the best Center in the league. We either got lazy in the 3rd and forgot about doubling Gasol and helping out who ever got that assignment. It’s imperative that we have to let him kick it out and let them shoot from the outside. Curry and Klay or our reserve Guards have to drop down and double. It doesn’t matter if they knock those down. Because they’ll never beat us at a jump shooting contest. But they can beat us from the inside like game 2 and 3.

Offensive rebounds are key for a half court team. They can get that all important 2nd chance points. The most draining one is when we D up their Biggs and they miss. But are able to get that extra rebound and re-establish a shot again. Dropping down from the wing helps with this because we can grab those long rebounds. And sometimes we get man handled underneath and our box out get pushed down underneath the basket. And with their length they’re able to tip it in. We need to not play small at all. Like we did in game 2 and 3. And play Bogut more and When Lee and Ezeli is in there at center they need to concentrate more on the box out. And have two players from the wing drop down and help out. Them outside shooters are not what I’m afraid of. Their Biggs are the key.

There’s no adjustments I can see that will have an affect on our team. Maybe slashing their players inside and get Bogut in foul trouble. Or Gasol and Zbo starts attacking him inside to sit him down. But even if Bogut gets in foul trouble we can still keep them honest by always doubling underneath and even triple team them when and if Bogut is not there. Nothing that Memphis can do will have an effect against us. Either they start out shooting our players from the outside. And that’s not going to happen. They either start pounding us more and get our Biggs in foul trouble. That’s what I see as their only shot at this series. But Kerr already knows how to stop it by doubling and leaving their men open outside.

Thus this game is in the bag. And the fat lady has sung.

TA just Attack...

IF their continued strategy is to live and die playing off Allen, why just sit there and take three’s if you’re the grizz? You have a full lane to attack the basket and recreate spacing with better shooters on the perimeter or Gasol or Z bo in the paint for dump off passes or tip ins. It’s really a simple fix, if they’re gonna put a non- contesting 7 footer on you, attack the lane and dish out.

Like I said earlier on top.

They can slash and Gasol can try to beat the double team by passing it out. But that will be playing to our game plan. So either or they’re F.

They need to recruit Crawford for threes or try to get close and get them mid range jump shots. But our double team can recover and stop that even more. Because it’s a lot closer than recovering from 3’s. And if they drive Bogut or Lee is there to block their shot.

They’re packing it home I’m afraid.

What?

I don’t think so. Tony Allen attacking the rim and dishing to teammates or dumping off to z bo or Gasol after drawing the secondary defender would put enormous pressure on your defense, especially if everyone’s in the paint. That leaves capable shooters with space after they re-position off an allen drive that draws the help defense. No offense but you’re defensive rotations aren’t THAT good lol.

Oh I get it, Allen magically turning into a point guard.

Like Curry and dishing out a no look pass to Gasol or a high pick and roll. Ok… And you laugh too? Smmh

Lol

Pretty confident he can attack in the lane with a full head of steam and kick out if necessary. Beats the hell out of 18 footers and three pointers all game

Either or he's F.

Can’t make the three’s. Will get blocked by Bogut when he drives. Or stolen by Green when he passes.

Did you see the game last night? Yup time to pack it home and go fishing.

Thanks for coming. Next?

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