SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors spent a good portion of practice Friday focusing on some of the defensive breakdowns that led to their 114-102 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night at Chase Center.
A good deal of time was also spent on trying to find better shots for Stephen Curry. The two-time NBA MVP suffered through one of his most ineffective offensive nights of the season, making only three of the 15 shots he attempted and finishing with just 13 points while trying to fight his way through Miami’s hounding defense.
Klay Thompson, who also only scored 13 points Thursday night, said part of the problem against the Heat was that the Warriors spent too much time standing around near the perimeter rather than moving and making things happen.
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Warriors coach Steve Kerr agreed.
“That’s been an issue lately," Kerr said. "What makes Steph who he is is how good he is off the ball as well as on the ball. You can always put Steph in high pick-and-roll, which we do a lot of. But if you do and he gets the ball out of his hands, what happens next is what makes Steph unique.”
Kerr took it a step further when he said the Warriors’ overall lack of execution was more of a problem than Curry’s off night.
“One of the themes for us this year is when we don’t make shots, can we keep our energy and focus?” Kerr said. “It feels like we get a little down on ourselves if we’re not making shots. If Steph’s not making shots obviously it puts some pressure on us. But if we execute we should be able to play through that. That’s the whole point of execution is you still get good shots even when you’re not making them. If you’re not executing and you kind of drop your head because you’re missing shots and the execution suffers, now you go a few possessions without getting a good shot. Now everything’s spiraling downward.
Golden State Warriors
“Execution is most important when not making shots, and that’s where we really struggled last night. We did have some open looks that we missed, and that’s fine. It’s going to be different every game. Some days they go in, some days they don’t. But if your execution is consistent, your spacing is consistent then you can make it through those spells.”
Part of the problem, in Dario Šarić's opinion, is that some players still are adjusting to Kerr’s system and playing alongside a superstar like Curry.
“Sometimes we should have helped Steph to have an easier game, make plays for him easier to get him open,” Šarić said. “If Draymond (Green) was here, Draymond kind of understands that kind of role a little bit better than the rest of us. The next game we should really focus on Steph to get him easier looks. Klay too.
“We need to be aware we have one of the best shooters in history and try to make him a little bit more open, more extra passes, more screens and that kind of stuff to make his life easier. When he scores points it’s going to be easier for us to get open looks.”