On “NBA This Week” we revisited the Cavaliers’ 109-108 Christmas Day victory over the Warriors, and tried to assess just what it exactly meant. Last year the Warriors went into Cleveland and blew out the Cavs during the regular season. What did it mean? Apparently not a lot because Cleveland ended up beating the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
During the show we had some terrific discussions about all of this and tons of other NBA stuff with Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, Denver Nuggets television analyst and former NBA player Scott Hastings and Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
Among the topics on Saturday’s show that were addressed and discussed:
–What should be make of the Warriors’ crunch-time issues with their offense? It’s only a small sample size — because they don’t play many close games — but the Warriors have sputtered on offense when the game matters most.
Stephen Curry said 11 shots, which is how many he took on Christmas, simply weren’t enough though it wasn’t anyone’s fault.Coach Steve Kerr said he intended to use Curry more in pick-and-roll situations, which sounds great. But won’t that affect the Warriors’ passing game offense? Isn’t the beauty of the Warriors how much they pass, and how often they make the extra pass to get a great shot?
–Brown got into detail about the Warriors’ offense — things like what percentage of their offense is set plays as opposed to “flow” offense and what the team is trying to accomplish during any possession down the stretch.
Against Cleveland, the Warriors had a crucial shot-clock violation with 11 seconds remaining, and we dissected what exactly happened there. Was it a set play? Were they running their motion/open/passing-game offense? How does that happen?
–We talked Denver Nuggets, officiating and even a little David Letterman with Hastings. The guy is a walking one-liner, but more important, he had some great insight on the Nuggets, a team that seems like the definition of an enigma.
Hastings also has some insightful things to say about the state of officiating in the NBA and some important comments on George Karl and Karl’s controversial book. Hastings is a good friend of Karl’s and has great perspective on the issue.
–With Bontemps, we go around the league, centering on the Christmas Day game between the Warriors and Cavaliers. We also talk about what is going on with Steinmetz’ least-favorte point guard Rajon Rondo, who is in the process of getting less and less playing time in Chicago.
There’s also another team that really needs to be talked about: The Houston Rockets. This team is better than anyone thought they’d be and it’s now legitimate to ask whether they can be a threat to the Warriors.