Dubs Lead

Game 4 Loss May Be Just What Golden State Needs

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The Warriors are in command of this series against the struggling San Antonio Spurs and they could have closed this one in Game 4. But Manu and Co. stepped up and showed that they are not done yet. Although the Warriors were able to make some runs and tried to rally back during the final quarter, it wasn’t enough to shut down the Warrior-like game the Spurs were having, knocking down 53.6% from beyond the arc.

San Antonio capitalized on great performances from LaMarcus Aldridge, who had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili who had 16 points, five assists, and three boards, while hitting crucial shots to stomp the Warriors’ run.

The Dubs were led by Kevin Durant, who had 34 points, 13 rebounds, and two assists, and Draymond Green, who narrowly missed a triple-double with 9 points, 9 assists and 18(!!) rebounds. Klay Thompson, who has been filling the absence of Steph Curry, had 12 points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal.

So, do the Warriors have to worry about this loss? I don’t think so. I’d even go as far to say that they needed this lost to be ready for the hot Pelicans.

THEY NEED TO GO BACK TO THEIR BRAND OF BASKETBALL

The way the Warriors played in Game 4 was very uncharacteristic of the defending champs.

Three things to consider:

First, they were shooting poorly. Not only did they shoot 37.8% from the field but also they went 7-of-28 from three. Sadly, some of their 21 missed three-point shots were open shots. They were just not burning hoops last game.

Second, they switched off their defensive button. They were not defending the Spurs in the shaded area and from deep. They only had two blocks in the entire game, five less than their Game 3 performance. They also committed 18 turnovers, which San Antonio took advantage of and converted in to 21 points. They were lazy on the defensive end, which is far from the real Warriors.

Lastly, since they were shooting poorly, there were moments when they switched to ISO plays, having their best player do all the damage. This is not particularly bad since we already know what Kevin Durant can do with his offensive arsenal. But this is not Warriors Basketball. They are not an ISO team. They move and share the ball to create spaces and openings. They have good transition offense and defense. They also lock down key players and limit them to bad shots and decisions. But in Game 4, we witnessed a seeming resurgence of Aldridge, who was able to knock bank three threes.

Although we can always say that Spurs were playing with so much pride at home and maybe offering this game for Coach Pop and his family, we can also conclude that the Warriors were not in their true form in Game 4. This is a wake-up call for the Warriors, who could have just been buying some more time for Steph’s recovery or could also be relaxing and underestimating the Spurs in this series. They need to shift to their true selves from here on.

THEY NEED TO MOVE FORWARD FROM THEIR LATE-GAME RALLY

The Warriors have the ability to switch on the light and step on the gas at any time. That’s why they can rally back from just about any deficit. This is admirable but also dangerous. If they keep on doing this, they will fall against red-hot teams. This happened in Game 4. The Spurs were playing better, shooting better, and doing everything better. This could happen when they face the Pelicans, who have found their groove at this point, the Jazz, who parade an ultra-aggressive line-up, and the Rockets, who are always firing and draining threes.

The Warriors need to start strong and play aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor. They need to ignite faster and dictate the tempo of the game. They need to own their opponents from beginning to end.

THEY NEED TO BE FIERCE AND FOCUS ON THEIR GOAL

This first-round postseason has been one of the best we have ever seen. From the Pelicans upsetting (and sweeping!) the Blazers to the record-breaking and performances of rookies Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, this was an exciting first-round. But if you’re the Warriors, who have been setting up records in the regular and postseason, you should not be blinded by the goal.

The Dubs are the defending champions and if they want to continue, they need their eyes fixed on the prize. Game 4 happened, and it happened for a reason. This is a reminder that it is not about the record, it is about the ring. Great teams are not those who did not lose, but those who get up and come back from every battle, better and stronger.

So Warriors, get up! Get everyone involved. Be aggressive, be fierce, be relentless. This is not the time to be lazy, complacent, and overconfident. This is the time to be focused and take what’s yours!

Remember, #strengthinnumbers!

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About Angelo Mallari

Married and Father of two. Currently an educator in Xavier School, Philippines and a contributor for TLSportsMedia.

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