It’s not a secret that the Warriors have had trouble closing out games, not just this season, but in past seasons as well.
The difference is that this season, the Warriors have so much depth that it makes it hard for them to lose. They still, however, put themselves at risk to losing: especially when they have a huge third quarter lead. Someone always ends up making a push. It happened against the Pistons, and it happened against the Wizards, two of the worst teams in the NBA. What do the Warriors need to do in order to become a better squad down the stretch?
Down the stretch, the Warriors need to put it in the guard’s hands. It doesn’t matter if they’re veterans or not. Come game time, the Warrior guards really know what to do: which shots to take, which decisions to make, and which plays to run. Jarrett Jack, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry are going to be the beneficiaries of my theory. All of them are superb shooters, and have high basketball IQ’s.
1. Jarrett Jack: He is your main option. Since Curry shines at the SG spot, the Warriors should be able to stretch him out there. Jarrett Jack will easily be able to find Curry for the three point shot, or cutting to the basket. Jack is an excellent free throw shooter, and when he drives, he usually ends up with a high percentage shot. This is crucial, especially in crunch time. Many fans can also rely on his three point stroke: just in case the shot clock runs all the way down.
2. Stephen Curry: Curry’s incredible handles and smart-decision making will generally help the Warriors close out games. He won’t turn the ball over too much, and you know that he’ll find the open man. He occassionally takes wild three point shots, but we can live with it because he’s a good shooter.
3. Klay Thompson: Having the ball in Klay Thompson’s hands is also another good one. Since he is 6’7, he plays good defense, which could give him a lot of steals. When getting those steals, he knows to slow the tempo down and take a good shot, or give it to either Jarrett Jack or Stephen Curry. Since Thompson has drawn many comparisons to Ray Allen, he can easily create his own good shot, which is what Mark Jackson wants: especially because Thompson has a green light to shoot. On an un-offense related note, Klay Thompson limited Deron Williams to just nine points at Oracle Arena. If you put him on the main guy for the other team, he may be able to win the game just because of his defense.
Think about how well the Warriors could do if they followed all these steps and got the ball in one of these guys hands: depending on what kind of nights they’re having. In order for this to work, the Warriors have to get defensive stops and rebounds.