LIVING-STON A PRAYER
The Golden State Warriors are one game away from elimination.
Kevin Durant is looking like the most dynamic scoring option of all time.
Russell Westbrook is looking like Magic Johnson on Steroids.
While you can blame the Warriors Game 3 and Game 4 loss on the fact that Klay and Steph never got their shots cooking. The truth is the Warriors are losing because they are playing ‘Warrior’ brand of Basketball, instead of adjusting to the type of Basketball that can eliminate Russell Westbrook from igniting the Thunder offense.
Golden State Warriors I have your answer.
LIVINGSTON A PRAYER
The Warriors are being stubborn.
Having Steph Curry guard Russell Westbrook is the biggest mismatch since David vs. Goliath. Not only are you exhausting Curry on Defense with taking each step up and down the court with the energizer go bunny Westbrook, you are asking him to actually eliminate the most important part of the Thunder offense.
While Klay is no match for Westbrook’s speed. The Warriors are being stubborn keeping Harrison Barnes with his same starters role still playing 30+ Minutes. Not only can Barnes not guard Kevin Durant at all. He also allows Kevin Durant to stand around on defense saving all of his energy on offense.
With Shaun Livingston on the court as the starting Combo Guard. You can have Livingston use his length to make Westbrook uncomfortable. Never will Westbrook feel comfortable shooting from long range. Never will Westbrook be able to go up for a layup without feeling like the potential he may be blocked. Livingston and his wild horse 6’7 long lanky frame is going to be tough for any player.
While Livingston will never be able to completely shut down Westbrook, he will at least make it a little more challenging and more effort to really have to create for himself. Most important will be Livingston on offense. Most importantly it allows Steph Curry to save energy on defense.
Westbrook or Roberson will have to guard Curry at all times. Durant does not want to be stuck on guarding Klay Thompson as that is a lot of running around and fighting screens. Right now Durant is in NetFlix and Chill mode on defense as he just loosely guards Harrison Barnes knowing that he will miss even if he shoots the ball.
The way to fix this is to make Shaun Livingston the PG of the offense. Have Steph run off screens, have Kevin Durant actually have to play defense. Steph is so dangerous off the ball with his ability to set screens, but most importantly run off screens. Something the Warriors are not doing enough.
Last tweak to the Warriors which will really have this dominating OKC is giving Festus Ezeli more minutes than Bogut. Bogut is too slow guarding Steven Adams, and when Adams sets those high screens for Westbrook, Bogut has zero time to recover. Festus is much more aggressive and quicker than Bogut who is nothing more than a mountain of a man.
If the Warriors make these couple of adjustments.
- Starting Livingston at SF for Barnes.
- Have Livingston guard Westbrook. Klay guard Durant. Curry on Roberson.
- Have Livingston run the PG position on offense to make Durant work.
- Use more Festus than Andrew Bogut.
Do all this, the Warriors will be in the Championship against the Cavaliers. If the Warriors do not make these moves, then they will simply live and die with the 3 Point Shot and not being able to stop Westbrook or Durant.