Fear the Sword: Sum up the Warriors 12-0 start to the postseason for me. What have the highs and lows of the playoffs for Golden State?
Nate P: It has to be the fact that we’re finally starting to see the team peak when all the key players are relatively healthy. A +16.8 point differential to this point might be boring for some but I think it shows Warriors fans that we probably didn't see this team at its best during the regular season due to injuries to key players and the early-season process of getting to know each other.
Oh, and also JaVale McGee, who is playing some of the best basketball of his career.
As for the lows, yeah we'd all like to see Klay Thompson play better but I think it was that first half of Game 1 against them Spurs that really concerned me. Kawhi Leonard was otherworldly, but I also think the Warriors just came out flat in every way imaginable. And as we found out about the Cavs last Finals, we can't afford that.
FTS: How much of an impact will Mike Brown actually have on this series?
Nate P: Given that Steve Kerr has announced the possibility of returning to the bench for the Finals, I think that's even harder to say than it would've been last series - it sounds feasible that Brown could get in trouble and Kerr could return.
But that aside, I imagine we’ll see a bit more P&R involving Curry than you have in the past. There's really not much reason not to run it more often outside a rigid adherence to offensive principle and I think it just puts way more pressure on the defense. Brown is just more likely to go that n than Kerr from what we can tell.direction, which is something that I think many Warriors fans will appreciate.
FTS: How will the Warriors defend LeBron James, especially if Andre Iguodala is hobbled?
Nate P: GSoM contributor Apricot wrote a pretty thorough look at the Warriors’ defense of LeBron for BBallBreakdown that might be of interest to your readers in answering this question.
But the short story is that I think you’ll just see a lot of bodies thrown at him and the main difference between this year and last is having Matt Barnes and Kevin Durant to use instead of Harrison Barnes, who became a huge liability on the other end.
Other than that? Prayer. I don’t pretend that you can really scheme to stop LeBron, especially when the person who did the best job on him during an epic performance in 2015 ended up winning a Finals MVP.
FTS: In your mind, what’s more likely to continue: Draymond Green’s three-point success or Klay Thompson’s struggles?
Nate P: That’s a good question actually, but I’m so used to seeing Klay Thompson experience these lulls that I sort of don’t worry about it -- every year, at least once a year, we have this conversation. People panic, then he eventually drops 60 in a game or 37 in a quarter and people just forget. He’s a shooter and when you’re a shooter you sometimes miss.
But let’s also remember: he’s still shooting 36 percent from three in the playoffs this year -- it’s not like he’s terrible, he’s just not as good as we’ve come to expect.
FTS: How much of a threat do you see the Cavs as to Golden State?
Nate P: I think the better question is how much of a threat I see LeBron being to Golden State and, lest you start throwing 3-1 jokes at me, I have to say he’s clearly a huge threat. With Kevin Love playing better and looking more integrated into the offense this year, it’s just hard to dismiss the possibility of them pulling it off again.