The Golden State Warriors are hard to defend. This isn’t new information or at all revelatory that a team with both Steph Curry and Kevin Durand and slew of other good offensive players is hard to contain. But it’s a problem the Cavs will have to solve if they want to repeat as champs.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has a simple explanation for what makes the Warriors’ offense a challenge.
“A lot of schemes you had in place before we could try to double team and get the ball out of Steph's hands and now having that dynamic scorer, dynamic shooter in Durant it makes it tough because now you're flying around and you have Klay and Durant on the back side," Lue said Monday. "It makes it tough. That's why they've both been so efficient because with Durant having those guys out there it makes it easier for him too. They both kind of play off each other, as well as Klay and Draymond [Green]. They have a good thing going.”
“They have a good thing going” is maybe the understatement of the year. The Warriors have the second best offensive rating among playoffs teams — the Cavs are first — and had the league’s best offensive rating during the regular season.
Cleveland, to win the Finals, has to be just good enough on defense will being at their best on offense in order to beat Golden State. And while Lue lays out what makes the Warriors hard to defend, it’s much harder to actually defend them. They can create a number of mismatches and move the ball better than any team. They create chaos, putting even the very best defenses on skates. At different points of the last two Finals, they’ve done just that to the Cavs.
What Lue and his staff ultimately come up with to defend the Warriors may ultimately decide who wins the title this year.