The Spurs exploited the Warriors' weakness in the middle. Maybe teams that aren't as good as the Spurs and don't have a coach as good as Pop won't do it as effectively, but it is something the Warriors will have to fix.
Quote:The Warriors weren’t just replacing Harrison Barnes with Durant; they were also replacing Andrew Bogut with Zaza Pachulia. Bogut never got enough credit for all he did for the Warriors. He was instrumental to what they did on both sides of the ball, and they clearly missed him against the Spurs. Bogut is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, and he’s also mobile enough to slide his feet and guard in the pick-and-roll. On the offensive end, he’s great at setting screens, passing the ball, and rolling to the rim. The Warriors’ best lineups feature Draymond Green at center, but he can’t play that position for 30 minutes a game over the course of the regular season. They need someone who can hold the fort and eat some minutes there.
The Spurs went at Zaza right away. They put him in pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll, and there was nothing he could do about it. He doesn’t have the foot speed to switch screens and guard smaller players on the perimeter, and he can’t recover to the paint fast enough to bump the ball handler when he’s coming off the screen. Even backing up in order to cut off penetration and wall off the paint isn’t much of an option because he’s not a deterrent at the rim. There are two statistics from last season that should really concern the Warriors: Pachulia’s 0.9 block percentage is nowhere close to Bogut’s 5.8 percent, while Bogut was in the 72nd percentile of all qualifying NBA players in pick-and-roll defense, compared to 48th for Zaza.
Zaza was a decent starter for Dallas last season, but the spotlight in Golden State is much brighter and harsher. His poor pick-and-roll defense wasn’t as big of a deal for the Mavs because opposing offenses had so many different places they could attack. Now that he is playing with Green, Durant, and Klay Thompson, there aren’t as many weak links around him.
(01-09-2017 10:41 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote: Cavs pick up Kyle Korver from Atlanta in a trade. Another piece to a repeat championship puzzle? Kyrie and Kevin Love playing better (more consistent and healthy) this year too.
Whelp! Cavs have lost 3 in a row and 4-6 over their last 10 games.
If the idea is that Magic is the public face of management and in charge of recruiting stars to the Lakers, that would work. Certainly a better plan than Jim Buss butting his way into meetings with free agents.
But if the idea is that Magic, without help from an ace GM, can build and maintain the roster as well as Jerry West did, not so much. Management across the NBA as a whole is much more professional now than when West became GM. West could learn the job over a few years while nearly all other teams were run by guys who didn't know what they were doing.
On the other hand, if Magic hires a staff full of smart, experienced people who know their jobs well, then it could work as well as, say, John Elway running the Broncos.