4th Quarter Collapse

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Updated: June 3, 2022
dubs downfall

In a playoff game where the Warriors had less than 14 turnovers and Curry scored 30+ points, one would assume that Golden State cake walked their way to a 1-0 lead in the series. Especially with a tentative and possibly anxious first-time Finalist Jason Tatum trigger shy through 4 quarters, the box score would leave a person puzzled of how and why Boston laid the Bay with a blowout. It wasn’t due to the great fear and diagnosis throughout the season of Golden State’s lack of interior size or even the recklessness with the ball that leaves unforced turnovers all over the wooden floors that Curry and Dray can’t help but manifest.

It instead was at the hands of a flurry from the Others of Boston and a disappearance of all the role player production the Warriors have depended on to take them to the promised land. Al Horford and Derrick white alone combined for 47 points with 11 3-pointers on ridiculous efficiency. As Kerr applied the “Let anyone but Tatum kill us” defensive strategy, Big Al went 9 of 12 from the field and 6 for 8 from distance continuing the postseason of his career.

On the flip side, Poole, Iguodala, Looney, and Green all combined for a whopping 24 points. Andrew Wiggins, though scoring 20, abandoned the aggressiveness shown in the Dallas series and picked and chose his spots to attack rather than taking every open shot created for him by the gravitational pull of Stephen Curry.

None of it all seemed to matter though through 3 quarters as the Warriors appeared to be the clear-cut dominant roster, leaning on their championship pedigree and big shot making. But as Curry came off the floor and Poole was asked to man the ship in the Chef’s short early 4th-minute absence, the windows blew off the Dubs’ sinking submarine straight into the bottom of the Pacific. Jordan and the Poole party appeared to have left his invitations to the fiesta back in Dallas. With a team-low -19 and only 9 points logged in 25 minutes, this type of offensive production will simply be unsustainable considering how he continuously was abused on the defensive end. Only taking 7 shots, Poole will need to remain hyper-aggressive regardless of how hot or cold the splash brothers maybe if he wishes to remain on the floor throughout this series.

Possibly the problem though didn’t stem from Poole but the surrounding cast he continuously got stuck with running the second unit. Kerr opted to use Iggy instead of Moses Moody or physically questionable Gary Payton II, frequently leaving two non-shooters on the floor. Despite the experience, Iguodala brings to the rotation, he hasn’t played a minute since early in their series with the Joker and has been MIA with injuries for the better part of the season. Not only that, everyone in Chase Center, especially everyone on the Boston bench knew he didn’t want to shoot the ball from distance. The deceiving 3 for 4 from the floor leaves the fact hidden that Andre continuously passed up shots without even looking towards the basket. The hope for Dubs fans is that Kerr will move back to using Moody as he did in the Dallas series with much success and that JPII will be ready to ride in game two.

For Boston, the first half looked as if they didn’t know who Curry was and was meeting him for the first time. There drop coverage of Al and Williams sagging down into the paint will get annihilated in the long run against the array of shooters on the Warriors. However, due to Robert Williams’ mobility, it looks as if that is the only place he feels physically capable of playing. With regards to Tatum, he passed up several opportunities matched up on Curry one on one. Although Steph is a plus defender against like-sized guards and can stand pat with players a bit taller, Tatum’s so-called 6’8” which looks way closer to 6’11” than it does 6’7” is a frame that should be punishing this mismatch every single time it is made available. Not only can Curry not handle Tatum’s overall size but even in the event that Curry holds his own and gets a stop, the amount of energy it will require for him to battle with Jason inside is worth the exchange in gold for the Celtics long term.

Defensively for Boston, they appeared to make the adjustment by giving Curry different looks rather than just leaving Marcus Smart on an island with the Baby Faced Assassin to get torched in motion. It is also possible the roll of the ankle by Curry in the second half was the cause of his lack of production down the stretch. Regardless, Golden State simply could not score in a historically troubling 4th quarter. A game that felt all but over after the 3rd at home in San Francisco didn’t slip away but was straight up stolen and restitched into an embarrassing blowout out in the Bay.

The rule of thumb is not to overreact to a Game 1, especially with the amount of rust that may have accumulated for Golden State in their full week off after the gentlemen’s sweep they left on the Mavericks. However, one thing is for certain, any fear the young first-time Boston players had going into the series is gone. It instead is replaced with a homecourt swing and the knowledge that a game 7 in Chase center is no foregone conclusion for failure.

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