Klay 3PP in losses: 26.1%, Curry: “we’re way better” with Draymond
As I take notes during every game on the livestream (see below), the one thing I’ve noticed consistently is, as Klay Thompson goes, so go the Warriors. And it’s not like he’s been taking all that bad shots lately. He’s just missing them.
In the 16 losses he’s played in — and I’m excluding the loss to Minnesota in which he got ejected after the first minute — he’s shooting just 39-for-149 or 26.1% from three.
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In his 14 wins (he had a DNP in one of the team’s 15 victories), he’s shooting a blistering and hyper-efficient 59-for-110 or 53.6% from the arc.
There’s also the turnover thing. In those 14 wins, he’s got only 20 turnovers for 1.4 tov per game average. In losses, he’s tallied 34 giveaways for a 2.1 turnovers per game, a 50% increase from his performances in wins. Incidentally, I checked the assist numbers and there’s no big difference. I’m not sure where to find passes-per-game, but I’d be interested in peeking at those, as well.
You also see more frustration when things aren’t going well. I mentioned his bad body language four times during my live play-by-play “ManningCast” (fully listed at the bottom) and that altogether turned out to be nothing compared to this “fan footage” of him arguing with Kenny Atkinson during a timeout (I’m not sure where in the game this occurred, though):
There was also the time when he thought he was subbed out, but Stephen Curry told him to come in; this was something the TV broadcast caught, at the 9:00 mark in Q4. Klay had one good sequence of defense, then got subbed out down ten points by Andrew Wiggins with 8:28 to go, never to return, as the combination of Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga could not alter the plus-minus as the Warriors ended up losing 132-122.
Monte Poole of NBCSBA also wrote about Klay and mentioned the bad body language on the bench, as Poole saw it from across the way on media row.
And so every game, I just continue to look how Klay’s playing on both ends. It’s interesting how he seems to be the fulcrum of this Draymond Green-less squad. I’ve already mentioned in two previous articles now how I’d like to see the offense morph and add more Kuminga in pick-and-roll especially with Thompson’s SplashBrother Curry not finding the net, either, now for three straight games.
So whenever I see Klay forget to box-out, throw the ball to the other team, miss open shots, and outwardly show frustration, I cringe because those things altogether usually add up to a loss. I’m not expecting a perfect game from him, but when he makes those mistakes, for whatever reason they’re magnified and they somehow impact the game more than anyone else. And yeah, I do think it’s related to the absence of Dray. See Steph’s two paragraphs of quotes on Green below.
The other thing I noticed was the terrible transition defense. Often times guys were switched and picked up the wrong remaining player while running back on defense. For example, you could see Chris Paul point to a guy but then another guy is left unchecked.
There were a lot of missed assignments with the heavy focus on Luka Doncic. Brandin Podziemski mentioned that “sometimes it gets quiet out there” and they “get caught in-between” on defense, another nod to the defensive presence, or lack thereof, of Draymond.
So even though there was, as Monte reminded us, Klay’s run-out turnover in Q2 that helped the Mavericks spark a 13-0 run that the Dubs ended up never recovering from, you could also add Curry leaving Dante Exum wide open for a three (with Klay showing visible frustration) to the transition defense and a whole host of other problems that were simply summarized by Steve Kerr postgame as lack of “grit”.
I’ll only include the play-by-play notes from the live chat below at the bottom, because other topics our audience brought up on the livestream were quite interesting — if you’re dying to know, they’re all in the Comments of the livestream video embedded below — so I’ll save that for a future post coming up soon, as we have two days in-between games.
But I’ve promised you that Lauri Markkanen article, which is on deck. So I’ll shut up now and just post the rest of the videos and transcripts that include Kerr, Podziemski and Curry at the podium. Fyi Steve’s pregame didn’t really cover anything interesting, as it was mostly questions from Dallas beatwriters about Doncic and their Mavs.
STEPH POSTGAME DAL-GSW
I know part of what you kind of talked about this offseason was the need for this year, everything to be about winning, everyone collectively. It all kind of had to be about that some of the talk tonight, particularly from Steve postgame was at times, various agendas or whatnot are getting in the way, but this team collectively needs to focus on trying to get the win. Do you feel that that's wavered or it has been wavering at times this year and particularly right now?
STEPHEN CURRY, POSTGAME DAL-GSW: “I mean, when you lose, like you search for why you're losing, right? And for the teams that are struggling like we are, to find consistency, you try to pinpoint whatever it is that is correctable or is a solution to the problem. So right now I don't necessarily think it's agendas or kind of emotions getting in the way. I think it's when you're not playing well, you start to – it's like a human nature default. You start to look at it like – and I will come up here and say I need to play better, I need to shoot the ball better. I know everybody could probably speak to something that they could do better to help us win. And that's the situation we're in. So until we start winning, there's going to be more nitpicking everything to try to figure out what the solution is and until we find it, we're going to be sitting right here in this situation.”
At this point in the year, is it hard or frustrating that there doesn't seem at least to be a clear-cut group of five guys you can put out on the court and just know that you can rely on these guys to build a lead, get it done, do whatever needs to be done?
“Yes, the nature of this team, and what's kind of materialized throughout the year, we've experimented a lot. Some for forced reasons, some for us, again, just searching for an identity of what are our strengths and playing into that, and we haven't found it collectively. So it's frustrating for sure. 31, what are we, 32 games in, and any team that is a serious, seriously competitive, contender, good team usually can answer that question. So we have to get to that point for sure, before it's too late.”
You've obviously had a little bit of a rough stretch shooting. Can you pinpoint why you think so?
“No. I mean, I've been in a situation before where you start off hot and cool down a little bit. I, again, hold myself to a high standard and know I need to shoot the ball better, play better, (be) more consistent, provide that punch that scares teams and gets us going. We've stayed somewhat competitive, even with my numbers down, but I think confidence always remains high and it's hard to be perfect for all 82, but you still play the same way. I know that, over the course of the season, the law of averages take over, and I've proven I can do that, so that's where my confidence remains.”
Were you intentionally aggressive in the first quarter? You took seven shots, and did the lineup changes to start help with that, with the looks you got?
“We talked about it a little bit in practice yesterday, just around getting the ball moving a little bit. It's usually going to find the right person, to create good shots. I think I forced two of them in the first. The two two-pointers, ironically, but most had some decent looks. This didn't go down, but it started to figure out a rhythm. I think at this point, it’s the lineup changes. It's not an occasional question is, you're trying to figure it out on the fly because we're making a lot of adjustments from starting lineup and rotation perspective and all that. So I know I gotta be aggressive, doesn't mean you have to shoot every time you touch it, but allow you to be the threat on-ball, off-ball, whatever it is, to create good shots for myself and for my teammates, and that was better tonight. So you just want to make some more shots.”
Steph you tied it up twice and it seemed like it was, you all were going to maybe be able to come back and take the game. And what happened where it kind of slipped away again.
“There are others. Obviously they’re a team. It's not just Luka, but the guys that were killing us all night. Exum had some threes. Josh Green had some threes. Tim Hardaway, he hit a couple of big ones. And then they got a lot of drives when we were sending maybe a double, or not getting back in transition. So they played well and they made the shots that kept the momentum on their side and in the second quarter, there was a stretch where it seemed like we were going to get over the hump and get our crowd back into it, and they hit three straight threes and changed the momentum again. So they played well. It wasn't like this wasn't a game where we didn't play well and lost. It was, they just played better, if that makes sense, compared to how we played against.”
Steph, Steve and a couple of guys talked about the need to be more connected on defense and Steve mentioned his motivation for the lineup change, partly to get CP in there to help unlock you, was the way he put it. Seems those are things that Draymond does particularly well. You guys obviously won five straight without him. But do you feel like these last couple games you maybe missed him in the sense that the things you guys are talking about are things that seem to be what's going to be the most important thing, his specialties?
“Yeah, we haven't talked about him much since he's been gone for a reason, just the space and allowing him to make the progress he needs to make. But it's not lost that when we came into the year, nobody said we're going to be a great team without Draymond. And that obviously is our belief, like we're way better with him because of the things that he does, when he's out and since he's been out, we've been trying to stay competitive and we've won some games. We lost some tough ones. But with all the players that we can throw out there and that we have, and the way that Draymond was playing before the suspension, like, it's clear. He's a huge part of what we do and we're better with him, for all the intangibles and the way that he was playing. But we have to stay competitive while he's out for us to not lose too much ground. And I think we can still do that for sure.”
Do you personally feel it in terms of trying to get the looks you're used to getting because you and he obviously have a unique bond on the court?
“It's a little different. Most of the off-ball stuff, especially with him, it's like the point-forward-type looks and then obviously not other guys have had those reps. So it's a tough transition. So, yeah, but still try to be versatile enough to – I've had some, games where I've played to the standard that I expect, and I've had some duds or two, and that might happen with Draymond out there, but it is a lot easier when you have your pet plays and actions that you're used to, we've had for the last decade. But gotta make the adjustments while he's out.”
Is the new year like a checkpoint for you in the season? I know you mentioned something, I think it was in Oklahoma City, about wanting to correct stuff by the New Year. I mean, do you view this as a time to step back and assess?
“I think the situation we've been in has forced us to do that on a much more consistent basis of – it's not like you're just coming in thinking you can just keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Like, we're trying – actively trying – to figure things out and having a lot of conversations in practice and the locker room on what those adjustments need to be and how we need to correct it. But, thankfully, if you look at the standings and where we're at, it's not as – it's just realistic for us to go on a run and close some space. But you gotta win games. So, we have, what, five more games on the homestand, after this stretch. You'll know what kind of situation we're in, positively or negatively, based on how we get through this, in this homestand. Because at 15-and-17, you start to feel a sense of urgency on where you are to try to set yourself up for being a playoff-type team, which is what we expect. We expected that coming in and we expect that moving forward.”
STEVE/BPODZ POSTGAME DAL-GSW
What was the reasoning behind the change in the starting lineup, bringing in Trayce and CP?
STEVE KERR POSTGAME DAL-GSW: “Yeah, we're looking for a boost, defensively. The last couple weeks with that starting group, the defensive numbers, really weren't great. I liked the energy shift that we got from it, a couple of weeks ago but, defensively, that lineup wasn't holding up. So we were looking for better defense, from the start and wanted to get Steph more involved as well. And we felt like getting Chris on the floor would maybe unlock Steph a little bit. But, the defense struggled all night. I mean, they scored 132 points and we just couldn't stop them offensively. We were fine. You score 122, that should be enough. Took care of the ball, rebounded pretty well. But we just couldn't get stops. So it's hard. It's hard to win in this league, especially in the modern NBA. You can't get stops because everybody can score. And how hard is it to try and contain Luka being that he was able to burn some double-teams over the course of the game, you gotta kind of pick your poison there.”
So how do you decide with a double-team or not?
“Yeah, we tried to mix it up on him. We single-covered him, we switched, we hit him. So we tried a lot of different things, but he's a brilliant player, had a phenomenal game. I thought the mistakes we made defensively in the first half, especially where we're on our switches, we weren't communicating and we had some good stretches where we were getting stops and our switches were good. And then our communication broke down. We started getting two on the ball and then that's where he picked us apart. So, he was fantastic tonight.”
I guess kind of the way you're talking about this game. I mean, it seems kind of simple to ask, but like, is this the type of night you really missed Draymond?
“Yeah, yeah. But I mean, he's not here. So there's no reason to dwell on that.”
Do you feel like right now you have a group of guys, a group of five guys that you could throw out there and just feel really, really confident?
“Well, I think, first of all, I love the guys on this team, we have a really good group. I think they have a good chemistry. They get along well, but we haven't found that grit that every team needs, every good team needs, where you pull together and you just play for the group. We're not there yet and that's a problem. Like I said, we got great guys, love every one of them. But until this team really connects in a way that is solely dedicated to winning each and every game, then we're going to be stuck in this place. So we need to get there.”
Where do you think that shows like that lack of grit, because it's kind of an intangible, but where do you think that manifests it?
“You can just feel it, you can feel it. It is intangible. So it's difficult to describe, but you can feel when a team is connected, competing together, everybody's energy is right. The difficult thing in the NBA – this is one of the things I think about all the time is a coach – every guy in that locker room has a unique set of circumstances, and every one of them is under tremendous pressure to perform. If you're Steph Curry, you're under pressure to remain one of the great players in the world. If you're Usman Garuba, you're trying to make it in this league as a two-way guy and elevate yourself and your career. And I could go down the list. Every single guy has a story. And I think about that all the time and I care about each and every guy and I want him to succeed, but I care most about the team winning. And the irony is that things always work out best for each individual player when they just lose themselves in the game and the team and commit to the quest, to the cause. And all the great teams, they do that, they get there, we're not there.”
I mean, simple to, I guess, ask, like, do you just feel like individual agendas are a problem right now?
“All I said was, we're not competing through the tough parts of the game. And there's an intangible, there's a feeling. There's a vibe where you fight, where everybody's energy is right and we don't have that right now.”
You have a couple guys that have played a decade together, but do you feel like some of that has to do with familiarity? A lot of players not necessarily knowing how to play with each other yet?
“Maybe there's a little bit of that. I mean, I think, because we have a lot of guys who are capable of playing, as I said, I think, 13 guys who could all very easily be in the rotation. But you only play nine. I mean, tonight, 10. But Moses didn't get in the game. Now he's been in the rotation most of the season, used to. We're mixing and matching. We're trying different things. And so it is harder for individual players to find their rhythm, too, when you're changing lineups around and changing combinations. But we have to find something that clicks and so far we haven't been able to do that.”
Brandin, what's your just general take on what went wrong tonight?
BRANDIN PODZIEMSKI: “Just felt like maybe the energy was off. I know that they're a better team when Luka gets ten or more assists. They did 9- or 10-3, now they're 8-8 when he doesn't have more than 10 assists tonight. So, going in, we just try to make him more of a scorer and not let other guys get touches, get a rhythm. But some screwed up coverages here and there kind of hurt us.”
What kind of a bind does it put you in when you guys, you want to contain him and sometimes you come over, you double him and he's so good at finding the shooter in the corner or throwing any entry pass?
“Yeah, it's hard, but we can't kind of let that affect how we take it out of the hoop and go back down. Great players like that are going to score points and we know that. So when they do, it's just transition offense, quick and vice-versa. We're not hitting shots like we were in the first half.
We can't let that affect our defense. We can control energy, effort, defense and rebound. And then, for the most part, we didn't really control that tonight.”
Steve said off-court chemistry-wise, this team has it, everyone gets along great, but on-court, you guys haven't found the collective grit to just win as a team. Do you feel that when you guys are out there?
“I feel like you more so feel it just kind of on the bench now when you're out there. I think everybody just kind of needs to bring it for everyone else and for us as a collective whole. We talked in the locker room after, kind of just gotta check our energies and every one of us, we stepped foot into the locker room and all of our thoughts, regardless of what's happening, because everybody has their own personal problems going on in life. Whatever's going on, we just gotta kind of channel that energy and focus on winning the game every night. But like he said, off the court, we're the closest friends, probably of any team, do a lot of stuff together. So it's just on the court trying to find that. That balance of putting everything for the team.”
He mentioned he thought there was a lot of defensive breakdowns early with switching and stuff like that. Was this more of a complex defensive game plan than usual? And how did you feel like you guys kind of, I guess, messed it up in the first half?
“I didn't think so. I mean, it was just to switch everything with Luka. We purposely put one of our guards, our bigger guards like Jonathan or Klay, on Lively. So if you bring it to a pick-and-roll, we just switched that. And I know we were going to switch everything except with Steph. So a lot of times we just gotta communicate, honestly. I think, when we're out there, sometimes it gets really quiet and we don't know. So we're kind of stuck in-between and then sometimes both of us will go, sometimes neither of us will go. So I think it's just communication. We just wanted Luka to dribble the ball as much as he could to tire him out. So I think that was probably the biggest thing.”
How much of the defensive sort of up-and-down do you think is traced to Draymond not being around?
“I mean, I think for the stage in his career where Trayce (Podziemski misinterprets the question) is at, I think he's doing an exceptional job. Obviously not having Dray around to soak up knowledge and learn stuff from does hurt, but I think Trayce did a good job. Like myself, I think me and him are facing these high level guys for the first time. So it's going to be a little bit of a challenge, but I think Trayce did a terrific job.”
Sort of following up on Kendra's question about the grit that Steve referred to, in your experience how do you manufacture that? How do you solve that?
“I mean, personally, bring it yourself. And if everybody brings it, then we all have it. But like I said, controlling the controllables is something that I am big into. I try to bring it every night. Like I said last game, I didn't feel like I had it. Tonight when I was in there, I tried to bring it. And I think if everybody collectively brings their part and their energy, and we play for each other, I mean, I don't see why we can't win games.”
PLAY-BY-PLAY NOTES FROM DAL-GSW
12m00 Q1 Klay nice D on Luka, TJD box out!
11m30 Q1 CP alley TJD
10m40 Q1 JK easy past Luka
10m20 Q1 Klay another good D, but Lively oreb
10m03 Q1 TJD handoff CP AAU tov
9m40 Q1 Klay airball, couldn't get anyone open
9m17 Q1 Steph shot put 3 after whistle
9m05 Q1 Steph can't shake Luka? maybe Luka was determined not get embarrassed again
8m40 Q1 Klay mad at JK, who then finds TJD backdoor
7m50 Q1 Luka TD to Hardy
7m30 Q1 Loon backdoor via CP and Steph gravity
7m10 Q1 JK flies for 94ft
6m45 Q1 Steph leaves Exum, Klay upset
6m20 Q1 Steph another brick, wow SplashBrothers are bricking and airballing, have we seen this in previous years?
6m15 Q1 BP forces timeout, wanted 5 sec call
5m36 Q1 Wiggs spun the wrong way vs Luka, he had him, fb easy, Steph was closest
4m45 Q1 Klay hangs head after BP misses him (bad body language)
4m20 Q1 Klay trans 3 makes him no longer mad
4m00 Q1 BP ticky-tack shooting foul on THJ
3m13 Q1 Loon steps on line on Steph 3 oreb, BP shows dismay again
2m41 Q1 Steph hero 3 miss, maybe he knows he's subbing out?
2m15 Q1 BP bails us out again on the split action
1m50 Q1 DP bullies Dario on oreb putb
11m45 Q2 Klay misses layup, good cut, not great pass Dario, 94 feet bad D, Klay arguing with ref
10m55 Q2 JK inside fade, he's on fire
9m35 Q2 Klay bad tov, Grant 3 corner
8m23 Q2 another SplashBrothers 3 for the opponent though
8m05 Q2 CP left wing 3 miss not in rhythm
7m07 Q2 CP disgustingly throws ball at rim
7m00 Q2 GP2 very rusty jump hook no good
6m36 Q2 Dario tov to Steph who didn't cut
6m07 Q2 Steph 3 with Dario P&R, but I don't think he trusts the system
5m32 Q2 JK good effort on tip-in
5m10 Q2 BP scores fb, he's untouchable btw obv
4m45 Q2 GP blocks Luka fade
4m25 Q2 BP bad tov in trans, should've passed to Steph?
4m00 Q2 GOAT corner 3 stepback over Powell
3m40 Q2 BP steal!
3m29 Q2 GP handoff Steph Wiggs putback
3m14 Q2 Luka superstar stop the bleeding and1, GP tells TJD (who didn't reach) that he was there for the help
2m59 Q2 Steph misses a layup
2m29 Q2 BP misses TJD on the probe
2m21 Q2 Wiggs and1 (got the message from Tim Kawakami)
2m05 Q2 Luka kills zone inside to Lively dart
1m49 Q2 Wiggs misses point blank, yells at himself
1m10 Q2 TJD and1 via Wiggs
0m45 Q2 Wiggs dunk base via Steph
0m05 Q2 CP hero base J patented
11m50 Q3 JK scores inside spin -- if Kerr finally decides to involve JK more in the O, then I will change my opinion on Siakam
11m05 Q3 good cut JK, foul magnet draws one more on Luka (3rd pf), missed FT though
10m45 Q3 Luka down the lane via double-pick
10m35 Q3 Klay misses, good handoff JK
10m05 Q3 Steph no call, miss layup, does the shrug whine to the ref which has never been effective, Kerr goes ham on a ref after the TO
9m15 Q3 CP kills the ball movement again, JK good oreb, Klay misses again, but CP scores on the break after DAL misses
8m20 Q3 TJD dunk via Steph gravity and DAL breakdown, but TJD doing great
8m00 Q3 Steph misses layup granted no foul call bad
7m37 Q3 Steph finally hits an open 3 via Klay screen
7m10 Q3 Exum good as they go to 59% FG (they started 5/9 on 3s)
6m40 Q3 Klay misses open 3 in trans and has bad body language
6m11 Q3 Steph and1 finally but this always happens after they miss a call or after we protest vehemently, how about coming into a game and protesting right away?
5m50 Q3 Klay does not launch an early 3 on the outlet wow
5m15 Q3 Loon putback in traffic lefty
5m00 Q3 Luka 3, seems like we don't have any available time to scheme against superstars because we have so many problems
4m50 Q3 Luka fouls Wiggs spin but no call, no respect
4m41 Q3 Steph corner 3 hero good
4m37 Q3 BP doesn't guard Green in trans, dunk
4m15 Q3 Loon finally traps Luka, should've done this earlier but again too many probs
3m50 Q3 BP 3 vs zone maybe?
3m30 Q3 THJ 3, Loon late on the switch
3m15 Q3 Steph misses another layup
2m26 Q3 GP2 fouls Green after trapping Luka late too? (brain fart)
2m12 Q3 Loon good effort on oreb fouled, Steph out with 25 mins, add 12 gets you 37 mins
1m54 Q3 GP2 good D on Luka but then fouls Grant on a 3 again
1m18 Q3 Wiggs fouls TJH 3 on wrist? Steph is wanting Chris DeMarco (CD) to review, the challenge will happen
0m52 Q3 Luka tactic on creating space nudges vs Dario
0m33 Q3 BP another catch and shoot 3
0m08 Q3 BP 3 stepback!
11m37 Q4 Klay another miss = drought
11m00 Q4 DJJ putback because Dario can't get off the floor without a pulley system lol
10m23 Q4 Klay another miss J
9m46 Q4 Dario nice crossover pass to TJD
9m00 Q4 CP fouls Exum, they talk back at him, Steph back in for Klay so 34 mins for Steph, Klay pops back in (so is that a change in the rotation?)
9m00 Q4 THJ great drive, nothing you can do, great D by Klay actually, is it just great play design by Kidd? I think we gotta start giving Kidd some freakin credit, he's been Lue-like
8m33 Q4 JK downhill on the roll, can we PLEASE have that more? -- my only gripe of Kerr's coaching staff
7m45 Q4 BP great D on Luka but he's better
7m30 Q4 BP creates something from nothing again to TJD
7m00 Q4 Steph good close out on DJJ
6m30 Q4 Steph misses another layup
6m10 Q4 did JK not cut on BP's dribble, hits a 3 though
5m40 Q4 Luka nice nudge J on JK
5m22 Q4 JK missed layup, what's our percentage at the rim tonight?
8m15 Q4 great job Wiggs extra to Steph 3
5m00 Q4 JK downhill to TJD dunk
4m16 Q4 Steph killed the ball, Wiggs misses a 3
3m50 Q4 Steph 3 no good after non-call blocking foul on Exum
3m27 Q4 Luka 34-8-10 but I get why we have too much on our plate to game plan against that
3m12 Q4 Steph 3 hero
3m00 Q4 CP steal! Steph to CP 3
2m40 Q4 Luka draws foul (shooting?!) why not challenge this?
2m22 Q4 Steph hero 3 miss -- Klay not out there being 1/11
2m17 Q4 Steph loses ball nice save Luka trying to dribble through 3 guys
2m00 Q4 CP to TJD P&R dunk
1m51 Q4 NBC again does not show bonus light on 4th foul, not a good foul on Wiggs and he knew it 94ft out
1m39 Q4 CP3 great D on THJ bringing it up but good TO by Kidd, CP exhausted pouring his heart and soul
1m16 Q4 bad screen Steph who doesn't really mount a protest
1m03 Q4 Steph hero ball 3 no good
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