Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

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Crow
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Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by Crow » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:04 am

Based on Warriors' 82games.com regular season Win-Loss profile, I'd argue that the 4 biggest characteristics of teams that beat the Warriors oh about 30% of the time when at least one of these is true are: good shooting, good shot defense, good rebounding and good assist-making. To win 4 playoff games you probably need to do a lot of these well or very well.

Looking at this season's potential contenders a handful of teams were top 7 on 2 of the 4. The Cavs were not one of them. Spurs, Rockets, Clips, Griz, Jazz, Wiz and Celtics did this or were real close. Jazz and Celtics almost did 3. Jazz really can't or don't make assists. Celtics really can't rebound. If either got good at their weakness in 1-3 years, maybe they have a chance. Have to get significantly better overall too but fixing this flaw might be very important or necessary.

If anybody were fully top 7 on 3, they might have a chance. If they aren't, I don't think they do. But this may not be a firm rule. Last season the Cavs had a solid 2 and were ok on the others. Green's suspension and Warrior over-confidence then fluster may have made up the difference. And maybe some refereeing.

jgoldstein34
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by jgoldstein34 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:42 pm

I think the 2 most important characteristics you listed are good rebounding and good shooting, specifically isolation. The Warriors are going to score, they're going to make super tough shots. You need a good defense, but if you can't score against them you can't set up the defense and it doesn't matter. Also, they've been beatable on the glass this year. If a team really was able to limit 2nd chance opportunities and consistently force them to play against a set, half-court defense, I think they'd have a real shot at competing.

shadow
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by shadow » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:32 pm

Warriors only lost 16 games all year and 12 of those 16 games had a tempo of less than 100. I didn't understand Cleveland's philosophy of pushing the pace in this series. Haralabob seemed to agree that the Cavs would have been better off playing slower:

https://twitter.com/haralabob/status/870462620687507458
"LBJ also wants to play about 40+ mins a night - can't do that having to defend KD and being defended by AI+DG at a high pace."

https://twitter.com/haralabob/status/870460983872901120
"Cavs definitely have to go back to Caveman Ball. It kept them close in 2015, won it for them in 2016"

After game 2 LeBron and Lue insisted that the Cavs would continue to play uptempo because that's who they were all year....except they weren't.

In the regular season the Cavs were tied for 15th in offensive pace at 14.9 seconds per possession according to Inpredictable:
http://stats.inpredictable.com/nba/ssnT ... &order=ASC

In the playoffs, prior to the Finals, the Cavs were even slower at 15.3 seconds per possession, which ranked 11th out of 16 playoff teams:
http://stats.inpredictable.com/nba/ssnT ... &order=ASC

The Cavs only played 12 of their 95 games (12.6%) prior to the Finals at a 100+ pace. It was not something they were accustomed to doing throughout the season. Yet in the Finals, they decided to try to match GS's tempo, with 3 of the 5 games hitting 100+ possessions (rounded to nearest possession) and the others finished with 98.8 and 96.1 possessions. By comparison, the 2015 and 2016 Finals were played at an average pace of 90.7 and 92 respectively.

The last thing you want to do as an underdog is reduce variance by playing at a fast tempo. Not to mention the physical affects that seemed to manifest themselves in second half collapses in most of the games as a result of the Cavs being worn out from the pace. The Warriors had better depth and were much more accustomed to playing uptempo (44 of their 94 games prior to the Finals were 100+ pace games), so the Cavs played right into the Warriors hands by playing at a faster pace.

There's obviously an argument that you generally score more efficiently when you shoot earlier in the shot clock, but in this series, the Cavs best chance for success would have been pick and rolling the Warriors to death until they got their desired switch (i.e. Curry on LeBron or someone other than Klay on Kyrie) and let LeBron and Kyrie go to work in isolation late in the shot clock.
Last edited by shadow on Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Crow
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by Crow » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:56 pm

Shadow vs. Lue on pace...

imo clear cut decision to Shadow.

Dr Positivity
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by Dr Positivity » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:57 pm

GSW are huge favorites but I can see a few threats next year.

Cleveland after trading Love for George and Thad. George gives them a long defender to make Durant work for it in single coverage. Kyrie remains a hard matchup for GSW since it's difficult to guard him in a switch, and Cavs still have LBJ and shooters.

Spurs after getting Paul, and imo, trading LMA. Keeping Paul, Kawhi, LMA forces the Spurs to destroy their depth, I don't think Aldridge as 3rd best player is worth that so I say a Paul-Kawhi 1 2 punch with good role players around them is more ideal for me. Paul, Kawhi and Pop is a special trio with the two best defenders at Curry and Durant's positions, if the Spurs can manage to play airtight defense and hit open 3s they could give GSW problems

jgoldstein34
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by jgoldstein34 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:06 am

Shadow hit it dead on, will never get why the Cavs ignored all the evidence and tried to outrun the Warriors.

Dr Positivity, I'd add the Celtics to that list also. If they get Hayward and somehow swing a trade for Love or Butler and Fultz ends up being ready to contribute and Brown steps forward, they have a chance at having enough talent to be in it.

3 teams have a chance at getting close enough to, if most everything goes their way, beat the Warriors. Any guesses as to the darkhorse candidates for it are, if any?

Dr Positivity
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by Dr Positivity » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:51 pm

jgoldstein34 wrote:Shadow hit it dead on, will never get why the Cavs ignored all the evidence and tried to outrun the Warriors.

Dr Positivity, I'd add the Celtics to that list also. If they get Hayward and somehow swing a trade for Love or Butler and Fultz ends up being ready to contribute and Brown steps forward, they have a chance at having enough talent to be in it.

3 teams have a chance at getting close enough to, if most everything goes their way, beat the Warriors. Any guesses as to the darkhorse candidates for it are, if any?
Maybe Utah if Hayward comes back. At 24 and 4 seasons in and at the level of impact he's at, Gobert continuing to rise and become a top 5 MVP type of player next year seems plausible.

jgoldstein34
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by jgoldstein34 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:22 pm

Totally forgot about Utah, if they bring everyone back and Derrick Favors is a sliver of who he was before his knee injuries... that could really be a great team. Crazy that we still haven't seen this Jazz team with a fully healthy season yet.

EvanZ
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Re: Profile of team that could best challenge the Warriors

Post by EvanZ » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:13 pm

There are plenty of teams that could form to beat GSW, but they have to put aside their individual egos. In the end, that may be the hardest part to replicate.

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