Golden State Warriors: Why the team’s motion offense is better than isolation

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Golden State Warriors

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 26: Stephen Curry #30 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors react as they leave the game late in the fourth quarter with a lead in a 129-110 win over the LA Clippers during Game Six of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Golden State Warriors (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

There have been many different offensive schemes throughout the history of the league but they all fall somewhere on the spectrum of motion offense to isolation offense. We examine the Golden State Warriors and other instances of these schemes.

The Golden State Warriors of 2014-15 and 2015-16 were the epitome of a motion offense, whereas a team like the Houston Rockets exemplifies perfectly how an isolation offense works.

These are just two recent examples but there have been many more teams who play at each end of the spectrum and even more who play somewhere in the middle.

Recent Developments

In an interview on September 10th, Kevin Durant mentioned how he thought the motion offense that Steve Kerr devised for Golden State was limited and wouldn’t work in the second round of the playoffs.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Durant had the following to say about the Warriors’ motion offense.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point. We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play”

This sparked some controversy and anger from fans who thought Durant was disrespecting the coaching staff and the team that had brought him his first NBA title.

Stephen Curry was asked about Durant’s criticism in a recent interview and he had the following to say in response.

“We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships too”

Curry was implying that isolation basketball is more fun for the individual star of the team but that it is not the best way to win championships — at least in the modern era.

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