Everything was going to plan.
The stagnant offense, the lackluster defense, the repeated isolations. The opponent was even wearing red on white jerseys. However, this time the comeback was not to be. Unlike the Raptors, the Rockets are a good basketball team, and did not fall for the Warriors perfectly planted trap. In all serious, this was a discouraging loss.
Klay Thompson struggled to defend James Harden, and the Warriors offense seemed entirely dysfunctional, the typically fluid sets replaced with fruitless isolations. The Warriors kept it close for, well, all of two minutes before the Rockets pulled away, a barrage of threes and free throws sank the struggling Warriors.
Although not enjoyable, this loss is not especially bothersome-yet. Over the course of the season, every team will suffer a few discouraging losses. Miami just lost to a depleted Chicago team by 20 points on Thursday. At team that relies on a high proportion of threes, like the Warriors, is more likely to suffer bigger losses due to the increased field goal percentage variance inherent in three point shooting. If the inconsistent, poorly executed offense that has plagued the last few games persists, then the Warriors will prompt increased concern.
More worrisome is the pitiful defense since the injury to Andre Iguodala. Before the injury, the Warriors were in the top five in points allowed per possession. Since then, they are below league average. Even without Iguodala, the Warriors should be an above average defensive team. Andrew Bogut is seemingly healthy and Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and especially Draymond Green can be impactful defenders. Though the negative effects of Iguodala’s absence should be expected, their magnitude is an issue.
Tale of the Tape: