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Halfcourt: Spreading our wings
As the Warriors head into a halfcourt set, their versatility causes matchup problems for defenses. Golden State swaps Curry off the point for Iguodala, allowing the Splash Brothers to flow freely, cutting and screening for each other, forcing defenders to scramble to adjust.
In this play, we expect Chris Paul (#3) to be covered in Curry (#30) and Darren Collison (#2) to be molded in Klay (#11), but it’s Jordan (#6) who gets tossed around in the mess intentionally made by the Warriors’ set. As Curry brushes Collison for Thompson (16 seconds), Paul sticks close to Curry (without the benefit of a hedge). Jordan moves towards the action to take away a potential layup by Thompson off the baseline cut; however, that defensive adjustment sets the table for the Warriors.
At 15 seconds, Thompson, with Collison forced to go over the top of Jordan, creates just enough space to come off the Bogut screen untouched. With 14 seconds on the shot clock, he has all the room he needs to turn and raise up for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
If things had bogged down on the right, take a look at the left. The Lee-Curry interaction is potentially lethal. Jordan’s earlier rotation into the paint would allow Curry to take Paul right off a Lee screen -- a desired 2-on-1 interaction in favor of the O -- and Curry sits wide open.
Halfcourt: Read & React
Another play, following the handoff option, provides Iguodala with prime handling and decision making duties and takes Curry off the ball. Here, we see the Curry-Iguodala exchange as Thompson draws his man deep into the left corner. Meanwhile, the Golden State bigs prepare to set off-ball screens. Draymond Green (#23) sets the first one outside the paint, while Andrew Bogut, also lifted off the baseline, waits on the other side of the lane for his turn.
The series of screens automatically leaves Paul chasing Curry. On the Bogut down-screen for Curry at 15 seconds, Jordan chooses to gamble with an all-out hedge on Curry to help out the trailing Paul. Jordan’s move into the passing lane allows Bogut to read and react with a slip cut to the basket. Iguodala’s height allows him to see over the top of his man and throw the lob to Bogut.
The Warriors spaced the floor with their sharp shooting wings, compromised the Clippers’ aggressive help defense, and finished with a high percentage look.
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Golden State Warriors.