You know it’s coming. It always does and it’ll likely come within the next week or so. There will be a point in a regular season game in which the Warriors really need a basket. They’ll call time out, and Head Coach Mark Jackson will draw up a play designed at giving somebody an attempt at an all-important basket. But who is that somebody? Who takes that last shot that could potentially determine the game’s outcome?
Before we let Ben Cruz (Warriors World), Adam Lauridsen (Fast Break), Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Bleacher Report), Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) and Steve Berman (Bay Area Sports Guy) have at it, here’s some context: The Warriors played an NBA-high 17 games last season that were decided by three points or less, and 25 of the team’s 66 contests were within three points in the final 90 seconds of regulation. Learning how to win such close games is of paramount importance, as it could be the difference in whether or not the Warriors make the playoffs. With that said, the final edition of the Warriors Bloggers Roundtable centers around this question:
Ben Cruz | Warriors World | @cruzkontrol
Stephen Curry needs to be taking the last shot. He hasn't been put in that situation too often during his stint with Golden State but there's a reason why he's as highly touted as he is. He is capable of taking the big shot at the big moment. He did it at Davidson countless times and is one of the only Warriors who has seemingly unlimited range and can create his own shot. He may not be the fastest or most athletic player in the NBA, but he is very crafty and smart and always seems to find the room he needs to make himself effective.
Adam Lauridsen | Fast Break | @GSWFastBreak
Stephen Curry. He's still the best pure shooter on the team, despite some competition from Klay Thompson. The challenge for the Warriors at the end of games isn't finding a good shooter to take the shot; it's running an offense that produces good shots. There were far too many times last season where the last-second plays were just clear-outs for Ellis or desperation heaves from behind the arc. Regardless of what style Mark Jackson chooses for this team, they'll need some half court sets that can get Curry or Thompson open for high-percentage looks in situations like this one.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Bleacher Report | @SherwoodStrauss
Stephen Curry, and I wish he'd shoot more in general. He's one of the league's best shooters, and his viper-strike release eludes most defenders.
Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
That's the great thing about the Warriors' roster this year. Both Klay and Steph can get a shot off nearly at will, and Warriors fans will be happy to roll the dice with either one, even if it's a forced shot at the buzzer. This opportunity doesn't present itself very often in basketball.
Steve Berman | Bay Area Sports Guy | @BASportsGuy
This might be the toughest question, because the biggest thing the Warriors lost in the Monta Ellis trade is a player who can create his own shot. If Curry is healthy, the role should be his (although the Warriors would probably need to set a screen or two to get him free). If Curry is injured, Thompson is next in line. While David Lee has expressed a desire to be that last-second guy, he wasn't overly impressive at the end of games last season after Ellis was sent to Milwaukee. I'd rather use Lee as a guy to set picks and/or crash the offensive boards in the final seconds.
That about does it for the season preview edition of the Warriors Bloggers Roundtable. A huge thank you to Ben Cruz, Adam Lauridsen, Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Rich Twu and Steve Berman for taking part. Be sure to follow them on Twitter if you’re not already and catch up on the previous entries of this discussion at the links below.
Who do you want to see with the ball in their hands and the game on the line? Would you like to share those thoughts on warriors.com? The warriors.com staff is seeking writers/bloggers who can capture the “fan voice” on The Blog Squad. Send your Warriors-themed writing samples to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your work could be featured right here on warriors.com.