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In an effort to bring our fans closer to the action on the court, the Warriors and MOCAP Analytics have teamed up to produce an ongoing analytical blog series, featuring insights and analyses not previously made available to the public.

In this three-part series, we break down examples of Golden State's offense in 1) Transition 2) Halfcourt and 3) Late clock

Late clock: Last call

After six game-winning shots with less than four ticks on the clock, Warriors’ fans are no strangers to late game heroics. Thrilling, but certainly risky. In the same way a team wants to win the game in the first five minutes, the offense wants to win each possession early in the shot clock.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

As the shot clock winds down, so do the odds of scoring.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The first option didn't work, and neither did the second.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Time for the superstars to make a play, to earn their money.

In this clip, following a sideline out-of-bounds play with 18 on the shot clock, early movement by the Warriors occupies the Clippers but no shooting opportunities arise. Later, with about 12 seconds on the shot clock, Klay Thompson (#11) backs down Darren Collison (#2), nearing the paint as Blake Griffin (#32) leaves the cutting David Lee (#10) to help in the post. The Clippers are trying to keep the ball on that side of the floor and away from the basket. With 9 seconds left on the clock, things appear to be in good shape for LA.

But the odds quickly change after Thompson skips a pass across the court to an open Andre Iguodala (#9). Now, the Clippers are on the run, having too few men on the opposite side of the court. Iguodala sees space and drives, and the Warriors have the opponent in their claws. Thompson stays in the play, and, as he often does, moves well without the ball, opening a passing lane for the handler. Iguodala has the choice of a shot or a kick out pass to Thompson. The Clippers have lost their defensive integrity and can’t defend both. Thompson receives the pass in the corner for a wide-open catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.

Just as in the halfcourt and transition situations, forcing the defense into defending multiple options leaves them exposed. Here, as the clock winds down, the Warriors had to improvise, and it was Thompson’s clever pass and positioning that made the difference.

It’s the kind of basketball players like to play and fans like to watch. Strategic. Intuitive. Spontaneous.

Part 1 | Part 2

Feel free to let us know what else you’d like to see in the comments below, and stay tuned for more exclusive data-driven content very soon. For all MOCAP-related blogs, click here. You can also follow MOCAP Analytics on Twitter @mocapanalytics.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Golden State Warriors.


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