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May 13, 2022

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 15:14:48

NBA Daily Playoff Glance

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CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS (Best-of-7) x-if necessary Sunday, May 1

Milwaukee 101, Boston 89

Golden State 117, Memphis 116

Monday, May 2

Miami 106, Philadelphia 92

Phoenix 121, Dallas 114

Tuesday, May 3

Boston 109, Milwaukee 86

Memphis 106, Golden State 101

Wednesday, May 4

Miami 119, Philadelphia 103

Phoenix 129, Dallas 109

Friday, May 6

Philadelphia 99, Miami 79

Dallas 103, Phoenix 94

Saturday, May 7

Milwaukee 103, Boston 101

Golden State 142, Memphis 112

Sunday, May 8

Dallas 111, Phoenix 101,

Philadelphia 116, Miami 108

Monday, May 9

Boston 116, Milwaukee 108

Golden State 101, Memphis 98

Tuesday, May 10

Miami 120, Philadelphia 85

Phoenix 110, Dallas 80

Wednesday, May 11

Milwaukee 110, Boston 107, Milwaukee leads series 3-2

Memphis 134, Golden State 95, Golden State leads series 3-2.

Thursday, May 12

Miami 99, Philadelphia 90, Miami wins series 4-2

Dallas 113, Phoenix 86, series tied 3-3

Friday, May 13

Boston 108, Milwaukee 95, series tied 3-3

Memphis at Golden State, 10 p.m.

Sunday, May 15

Milwaukee at Boston, 3:30 p.m.

Dallas at Phoenix, 8 p.m. p.m.

Monday, May 16

x-Golden State at Memphis, TBD

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Golden State Warriors | Kurtenbach: The Warriors lethal weapon in the playoffs? Their opponents home court

The list of incredible feats the Warriors have accomplished over the last eight years is miles long.

But this team’s ability to turn home court into a disadvantage for their opponents is perhaps its most impressive.

We saw it manifest, yet again, on Sunday night, when the Warriors took Game 3 in the Western Conference Finals in Dallas.

The reliable tropes of playoff basketball were all coming to pass in the contest. The Mavericks’ role players were playing better in front of a supporting crowd. The Warriors’ young players were struggling to stray grounded in unfamiliar territory. The referees seemed to like the team that the fans were backing.

Dallas was looking good. They were in control. They also had a nine-point lead with less than four minutes to play in the second quarter.

Against any other team in the NBA, that form holds, they win and this series is far more interesting.

But they’re playing the Warriors, and instead of going with the script, Golden State went into halftime with the lead, the game’s momentum and, two quarters later, with a road playoff win for an NBA-record 26th straight playoff series.

The Warriors’ style of play has been emulated the league over, but it still remains unique.

No other team has Steph Curry and Draymond Green, after all.

And that singular style has the ability to weaponize their opponents’ home court against them.

The Warriors want to play fast. They want constant movement on both sides of the ball, because they’re trying to create chaos. They thrive in chaos.

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Even after all this time, it only takes one play to get the Warriors rolling.

Sunday night, it was Green — who had been downright terrible in the first 20 minutes of the game — faking a handoff on the perimeter and driving to the unprotected basket for a dunk.

It only takes one mistake from the Warriors’ opponent for Golden State to compound it into four or five mistakes in a row.

After his dunk, Green bodied up Luka Dončić on the defensive end, forcing him into a tough fadeaway jumper that he missed.

Green is the Warriors’ heartbeat, and he made sure the team had a pulse again with that dunk and stop.

Then it was Curry’s turn to take control. He hit an absurd 3-pointer from the hash mark against the run of play.

In the span of three plays, the Dubs had found their mojo.

The crowd was riled up, too. Nervous energy filled the American Airlines Arena. The Mavericks’ lead was down to four.

And this is where Dallas — like countless teams before them — made their mistake: They started playing at the Warriors’ pace.

Dallas was the slowest team in the NBA this season. They’re methodical and physical on the offensive end.

But there was Spencer Dinwiddie trying to push the ball up the floor off of Curry’s make — spurred by the Warriors’ temptation and the positive vibes coming off the crowd.

He just wanted to match the Warriors’ little run and bring down the roof in the building. Fans want to see end-to-end action and Dinwiddie, consciously or subconsciously, wanted to oblige them with some athletically pleasing basketball of Dallas’ own.

If he was on the road, he’d likely have the wherewithal to try to take the crowd out of the game by slowing down the pace. This is what coaches mean when they implore their teams to play “smart” on the road.

Instead, in an effort to counter-punch for the amusement of the home crowd, he matched the Warriors and played fast.

But that’s not the Mavericks’ game. And that’s not the way you beat the Warriors.

The counter-punch left the Mavericks’ chin open.

The Warriors don’t miss opportunities to land a knockout punch like that in the postseason.

There might have been a few good looks amid a few passes on the perimeter after Dinwiddie’s push, but the Mavericks were clearly uncomfortable with the speed of the game and didn’t take the shots afforded by the Warriors’ semi-transition defense. The ball returned to Dončić, who chucked a 3-pointer that air-balled.

Now the Warriors were in full control. Golden State pushes off misses — they’re at their best when they turn defense into offense.

Andrew Wiggins knows the game plan. He went right to the basket. I’m not sure if he took a breath. Two more points for the Warriors came in a matter of seconds.

All Dallas had to do was slow it down. But they couldn’t. They had taken the Warriors’ bait and were in a state of sped-up delirium. Dončić rushed Dallas down the court, playing faster and looser than they had at any other point in the series. The All-Star had tunnel vision and tried to drive against four Warriors. Another airball.

Curry grabbed the loose ball and sprinted 90 feet to the other basket. He didn’t have the numbers on his side, so pulled the ball out to the left corner to set up a play. Eight seconds and four passes later, Curry had the ball in that left corner again.

He didn’t even bother to watch his 3-pointer fall.

The Warriors had taken the lead. Dallas finally called a timeout.

The whole sequence took less than two minutes off the clock. The entire contest had changed, though. The Warriors had eliminated the Mavs’ best chance to win the game and make the series respectable.

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“I’m still learning,” Dončić said. “I think the first two quarters, I played very bad. That’s on me… I think after this season is done, whatever we are, I think we’re going to look back and learn a lot of things.”

Dončić shouldn’t be so hard on himself. Dallas was just the latest team to fall prey to this style. The Rockets, Grizzlies, Nuggets and Blazers have not been able to counter it over the last eight years, either.

The two teams that have beaten the Warriors in a playoff series, the 2016 Cavaliers and 2019 Raptors, unsurprisingly did the best at controlling the pace of games against Golden State.

Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, won by Cleveland, was a slugfest. Neither team had 90 possessions.

In the 2019 NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard’s singular ability to bring any Warriors party to a crashing halt with soul-crushingly slow offensive possessions were effectively timeouts stacked on top of Nick Nurse’s expert game management.

Dallas might figure out that they are equipped to play this exact style, but it’s too late for that revelation to change anything. Maybe next season.

Meanwhile, with one more win, the Warriors will go for a 27th straight series with a road win in the NBA Finals.

Just another road crowd to weaponize against the home team.

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