Blogtable: Golden State Warriors' Finals offense or defense more impressive?
Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
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More impressive after two games of this series: The Warriors’ offense, or the Warriors’ defense?
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Steve Aschburner: The offense. Golden State’s defense is a nice insiders story, a testament to the Warriors’ work at that end that doesn’t grab the headlines. But let’s not overthink this. People don’t ooh and awe at the ground display on the Fourth of July – it’s the pyrotechnics way up in the sky that we all want to see. The many ways the Warriors’ score, the numbers they post, the pace at which they attach, it’s the showier side of what makes them great and there’s no reason to overlook or apologize for it.
Fran Blinebury: Close call, but I’ll go with the offense. It’s the reason the Warriors are prohibitive favorites to win the series — too many options, too many scorers for Cleveland to stop.
Shaun Powell: We can flip coins all day with this question because at times, one is better than the other and vice versa. But let’s go with the defense because there hasn’t been a big surprise offensively. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are popping shots and Klay Thompson joined in the party in Game 2. What else is new? But stopping Kyrie Irving and turning a solid 3-point shooting team to mush is why this series is 2-0 Warriors.
John Schuhmann: Through the first two games, the Warriors have scored 115.2 points per 100 possessions, which is 10.6 more than the Cavs allowed through the Eastern Conference finals (104.6). On the other end of the floor, they’ve allowed the Cavs to score only 97.4 points per 100 possessions, which is 23.3 fewer than Cleveland scored through the first three rounds (120.7). So statistically, the defense has been about twice as good, which says a lot given how efficient they’ve been offensively. But the Cavs came into the series with the most efficient offense we’ve ever seen in the playoffs and they’ve been kept in check so far. Draymond Green is simply the best defensive player in this league and Kevin Durant has shown that, when he’s engaged, he may be the player most qualified (with his combination of length and quickness) to defend LeBron James one-on-one.
Sekou Smith: The Warriors’ offensive arsenal is as deep and diverse as any we’ve seen in the NBA’s modern era. At the end of three quarters in Game 2 the Warriors had already surpassed the 100-point mark … and they did so without truly breaking a sweat. They bring too much to bear on offense and could win Finals games in shootouts forever. The fact that they’re as stout as they are defensively just makes it that much crazier when you’re trying to put this team in its proper historical perspective.
Ian Thomsen: Golden State’s huge numbers offensively are forcing the Cavs to play faster than they’d like just to keep up. The resulting turnovers by Cleveland are leading to more easy baskets for the Warriors. It’s a vicious cycle that starts with their offense.
Lang Whitaker: Their offense. When the Warriors are pushing the tempo and sharing the ball and moving in their halfcourt sets, their offense can be transcendent. And of course, when everything breaks down they can give the ball to Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry. Letting them go one on one can put defenders on skates and make it look like an expert playing NBA2K against a beginner. Of course, there are times when things start to bog down and the offense seems out of sync. But you just know that at some point in each game, the Warriors’ offense will click into place and hit that supernatural level. And for the Warriors, it’s all downhill from there.
MORE BLOGTABLE: What must Cavs do to win Game 3? | Who’s your early pick for Finals MVP?