Oklahoma City Thunder's defense key to staying unbeaten vs. Golden State Warriors this season
From NBA media reports
The Golden State Warriors have played 27 of the other 29 teams so far. And the only one they haven’t beat is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who they’ll face again on Saturday (8:30 p.m., ABC).
In their two wins over the champs, the key for the Thunder has been defense. They’ve held the league’s best offense to just 94.4 points per 100 possessions, six fewer than the Warriors have scored against any other team. Overall, the Warriors’ 114 points scored per 100 is the highest mark for offensive efficiency in NBA history.
That difference is in part, Thunder center Steven Adams said, because the Thunder is so “well-acquainted” with the Warriors, so familiar with the Golden State system.
He also credited assistant coaches Adrian Griffin and Darko Rajakovic for putting together strong scouting reports on the Warriors, with a particular focus on Golden State’s “smoke screen” plays — the decoy actions it shows to set up the plays it really wants to run.
“So most of the credit, kudos goes to them, really, rather than us,” Adams said. “We’re just idiots, mate.”
But Adams and his teammates have done some things consistently well, primarily in limiting Golden State’s scoring chances.
The Warriors this season have committed turnovers on 15.6 percent of their possessions. Against the Thunder, that number jumps to 22.6 percent. Those turnovers have been “probably the biggest” factor in OKC’s wins, coach Billy Donovan said.