By Jannelle Moore
The scoreboard at the end of Game 1 in Sacramento’s Golden One Center said Kings 126-Warriors 123. It might as well have said Warriors 126-Warriors 123 instead. Why? Because the Golden State Warriors beat themselves.
Golden State let the upstart Sacramento Kings go on a 13-4 run in the third quarter and consequently shift the momentum of the game. Not to mention hurting themselves through critical breakdowns on defense, surrendering 21 second-chance points, and poor shot selection down the stretch.
On the other hand, there’s no reason to panic. In actuality, the Warriors are still in a great spot to get that split on the road that they need before the series heads to San Francisco. Here are three keys to how the Warriors could take Game 2 in their matchup against the Kings.
Be Aware Of The Moment
With 8:20 remaining, the Kings were in the bonus. Instead of going downhill, attacking, and getting to the line, the Warriors instead shot threes. At one point in the game, the Warriors were 27 for 40 from 2. Since the Kings can’t protect the rim, The Warriors should make it a point to drive to score and draw fouls. Granted, they drive and force the defense to collapse and kick it out to the perimeter. However, the Warriors should make it a point to attack the basket and attack this particular weakness of the Kings.
In Game 1, the Warriors were – 9 in total rebounds and -8 on offensive boards. The Kings made them pay in second-chance points. On one hand, the Kings outrebounding the Warriors isn’t the most surprising since Golden State is undersized and frequently runs a three-guard lineup. It will be interesting to see if the Warriors will abandon the three-guard starting lineup with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Donte DiVincenzo and start Andrew Wiggins at the three instead. With a traditional lineup featuring Wiggins at the three, it should help them with extra boards.
Box The Fox
Curry foreshadowed the possibility that Kings coach Mike Brown would throw a box and one at him-and he did. The Kings, in pockets of the game used a box-and-one on Curry and did so with Thompson on the floor. Luckily for the Kings, Thompson didn’t shoot well.
D’Aaron Fox scored 29 of his 38 points in the second half. His 13 points in the quarter were due to him waving off screens and going iso. It wouldn’t hurt the Warriors to throw a box-and-one on Fox to slow him down and dare role players such as Malik Monk and Trey Lyles to try and beat them again. When it comes to defense, you will have to concede something. In order to win, the Warriors will need to take away Fox, making it as hard as possible to score and bet that the King’s role players won’t combine for 60.
Jannelle Moore is a contributor to Hoops Spaces. The North Carolina native’s work has been featured at The San Jose Mercury News, ESPN’s Andscape, Basketball News.com, and Carolina Blitz.