Here’s an obvious fact about the Golden State Warriors: They are a terror on the fast break. The combination of Kevin Durant coming at you and Stephen Curry spotting up for three is impossible to handle. [restrict]
In Game 1, the Cavaliers handled it by … letting Durant dunk.
Three points is worth more than two, so you could argue the Cavaliers were actually playing the percentages correctly. They weren’t going to stop a Warriors fast break anyway, so may as well minimize the damage.
However, I have another solution. If the Cavaliers are in a situation where they are highly unlikely to score — say, a possession going nowhere with the shot clock running down — they should try something unconventional.
If the Cavaliers are in trouble, throw the ball as far out of bounds as you can.
Seriously. Just do this:
Or this. (Though maybe don’t hit a fan in the head).
I’m not joking. Let me explain why this is a smart strategy.
It prevents the Warriors from going on a fast break.
The Warriors’ halfcourt offense is great, but their transition offense is on another level. As I noted, the Warriors had 30 sequences in the first three quarters of Game 1 that came off a Cavaliers missed shot in the run of play or a live-ball turnover. They scored 40 points on those plays and left 12 more points on the table by missing uncontested layups or wide-open jumpers. The Cavaliers only got legitimate stops on five of these 30 plays.
Many of those 30 possessions were legitimate fast breaks. Others were delayed breaks in which the Cavaliers were caught in crossmatched situations with weak defenders on the Warriors’ best players. Kevin Love, for example, was caught on Durant and Curry at different times in Game 1. [/restrict]