2. Somewhere along the line, the Warriors learned to play good defense
The Spurs shot 39.3 percent from the field and an abysmal 23.8 percent from distance. Anyone can try to chalk that up to a poor shooting day, but the reality of it is that the Warriors quietly started playing sound defense. It has a lot to do with the fact that Andrew Bogut can is somewhat mobile. The Warriors didn’t have his interior presence for the majority of the regular season. He also knows how to draw a foul, shown by a drawn charge later in the game.
Beyond Bogut, though, the entire squad played respectable defense during the game.
Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green played well together as a defensive frontcourt, although neither played well on the offensive end (Barnes shot 0-of-5 from distance and 5-of-14 overall, while Green went 2-of-8 overall and hit 1-of-2 three-pointers).
Curry’s defense, while not elite, is improving.
However, the real story is Thompson.
It’s no coincidence that the Spurs’ massive comeback in Game 1 followed Thompson’s departure via foul out. He plays great perimeter defense, and when asked to defend a future Hall-of-Famer in Tony Parker, he does his job well. Parker shot an underwhelming 7-of-17 from the field Wednesday.
Being that restrictive is no small task for a second-year player. Another nice stat here: not a single Spurs starter shot 50 percent or better from the floor. The only players who did were off the bench, accounting for a combined 2-f-3 shots. Meanwhile, Thompson shot 50 percent, and everyone off the Warriors’ bench shot better than that percentage.