The Golden State Warriors may be the super team on paper, but their levels of play sometimes demonstrate otherwise. Sure, they have the best record in the NBA at 33-6, and while that’s admirable we all know it doesn’t mean much – just look at last season. The acquisition of Kevin Durant has clearly sparked the offense, and yet it seems the Warriors are still prone to fourth quarter collapse.
We saw this last week against the Memphis Grizzlies, when the Dubs gave up a 24-point lead and managed to lose in OT. And we almost saw it again Tueday night when the visiting Miami Heat made a threatening run in the second half.
“I rushed five shots,” Durant said of the Warriors rough beginning, as they went 1-5 from the paint to start the game. “My first five shots were terrible looks, I [was] just throwing the ball up there. It was just bad to watch I’m sure.”
Warriors’ shooting guard Klay Thompson rested for the matchup, and his position was covered by rookie Patrick McCaw who played true to his status with three points and three rebounds in 19 minutes against the Heat. Thompson has been a huge contributor to the Warriors this season, with 142 rebounds, 76 assists, and 808 total points since season start.
“I thought it took us a while,” said Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr on his team sans Thompson. “We’re so used to Klay running off screens, and he’s such a threat, he puts so much pressure on the defense with his shooting, so without him, it was a different feel, different look.”
The Warriors ultimately went on to win 107-95, thanks to a last second rally by Stephen Curry and Durant who managed to go for 28 points despite his slow start.
“We did a decent job defensively, especially in the third quarter,” said Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala. “For us, I feel like defensively we need to lock in, continue to improve on that end and that’ll lead to a better-flowing offense.”