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Morant's knee hurt by Poole? Has G3's offense changed?

Morant’s knee hurt by Poole? Has G3’s offense changed?

As for the most uproar in this game, it was probably Poole’s defensive moves. During a wave of double-team defense, his hand touched Morant’s knee. Then Morant retired early due to knee discomfort, and Poole was accused by the outside world. Playing action unclean.

The Warriors, who were defeated by G2, returned home to face the Grizzlies in G3, and immediately rebounded, handing in the second-highest true shooting percentage (TS%) of 76.1% in NBA playoff history, with a hurricane of 142 points, a difference of 30 points. Big win over the Grizzlies for a 2-1 series lead. 

Offensive mode changes Warriors from the inside out

The reason why the Warriors’ hit rate is so amazing in this battle has a lot to do with the adjustment of the team’s offensive strategy. Compared with the previous game, the Warriors attacked the penalty area from the beginning of the game. Compared with G2’s 19 three-point shots in the first half, the Warriors only shot 10 times from beyond the three-point line in the first two quarters of G3. The combat mode, on the contrary, hits the basket more strongly.

And when the Warriors continue to cut in, making the Grizzlies’ defense line shrink inward, the outside can get more space, driving the increase in the outside shot rate, which also helps the Warriors’ team’s three-point shooting rate, from 18.4% in G2 and 53.1 in G3. % for one of the reasons.

Of course, it is undeniable that the Warriors’ 3-pointer in this battle is indeed much better than the past two games. Even Klay Thompson’s horse-riding archery-style 3-point jumper can be hit in the video below, which shows that the Warriors players are full of confidence. , in very good condition.

Warriors increase pick-and-roll frequency, manage Grizzlies crowd

Another important change is that the Warriors increase the use ratio of P&R. As we all know, since Steve Kerr took over the Warriors, the offensive system has emphasized empty-handed positioning, and the proportion of pick-and-roll tactics has always been low. This season, whether it is 12.6% of P&R Ball Handler or P&R Roll Man’s 3.7% is the second-lowest in the league.

However, in the playoffs, the Warriors’ use of P&R has increased, with P&R Ball Handler and P&R Roll Man rising to 13.8% and 5.3%, respectively. And not only the ratio has improved, but the efficiency has also grown significantly, especially the part of the P&R Ball Handler, which can score an average of 0.95 points per wave from the regular season, an increase of 1.11 points, which is the largest improvement of all teams.

The reason why the Warriors’ offensive policy suddenly adjusted may be related to the Grizzlies’ formation configuration. The Grizzlies’ starting lineup still adopts a more traditional formation, with two long men Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman collocation, even in the game. There will be a small lineup, but the Grizzlies will keep at least one big man on the floor.

On the other hand, the Warriors not only started with five minors, but the average playing time of backup center Kevon Looney in this series was only 15 minutes. Therefore, the Warriors can not only use the P&R to create opportunities to manage the Grizzlies’ long men, but also when there are many forwards and guards on the court, the Grizzlies will also stretch the defensive circle very large because of their fear of perimeter shooters. The elder who managed was isolated and helpless.

The G2 Warriors tried to use the pick-and-roll to create the opportunity for Stephen Curry to dislocate the Grizzlies’ long man, and Curry could use the speed advantage to easily cut through. In this game, the Warriors made sure of this and continued to pursue them. Whether it was the starter Curry or the backup Jordan Poole, they frequently used the pick-and-roll to force the Grizzlies to switch defenses, targeting Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman.

Even if Jackson Jr. tried to show it ahead of time, it still didn’t help. Just like Poole used a simple refusal to cover the ball, Jackson Jr. didn’t have time to recover, causing the basket to open wide, and Poole went straight for a dunk.

Morant’s teammates are not good at cracking zone defenses

The Warriors started this battle behind, but in the second quarter, the key was to switch to regional joint defense. Although the zone defense did not have much impact on Ja Morant, Morant scored another 34 points in this game and shot more than 60% from the field, but the zone defense was quite effective in interfering with the Grizzlies team’s offense. The Grizzlies deducted Morant, and the rest of the Grizzlies players The hit rate is only 38%.

Morant’s teammates don’t seem to have good decision-making ability in the face of regional defense. They often shoot directly after covering. There is not much organization and layout, so they are easily interfered, resulting in a decline in offensive efficiency, as shown in the two videos below. The ball, the ball carrier is relatively monotonous, even through the screen, but the timing of the shot is not a gap.

The Warriors started at the end of the first quarter and switched to zone defense. At that time, the team was 10 points behind, but the Warriors played a 13-5 offensive in 5 minutes, reducing the deficit to one goal. During this period, Morant was hardly on the court, which once again proved that his teammates were not good at cracking zone defenses.

The Grizzlies were behind and did not adjust in time, but kept betting on the outside

After the first half, the Grizzlies were only 7 points behind, but in the third quarter, the Warriors played a 37-23 offensive, which instantly widened the gap to more than 20 points. Except for the fierce firepower of the Warriors in this quarter, the Grizzlies failed to adjust their offensive strategy in time. Also the cause of the crash.

The Warriors mostly used five shots in this quarter. Looney only played for less than 4 minutes. However, the Grizzlies did not use their physical advantages to attack the penalty area. Instead, they made jumpers from the outside. They made 2 of 10 three-pointers in a single quarter, resulting in low offensive efficiency. The Grizzlies did not feel bad from the outside in the first half. They made 11 of 23 three-pointers, with a hit rate of nearly 50%. However, when the team’s feel took a sharp turn in the second half, the Grizzlies still relied on the outside and did not realize their own height advantage, adding more The cut or penalty area to attack the ball.

Is Morant's knee really hurt by Poole?

Kuminga started to write the record but failed?

The Warriors also have a major focus in this battle, that is, rookie Jonathan Kuminga replaces the injured Gary Payton II, ushering in the first playoff start of his career. At the age of 19 years and 213 days, he wrote the 1970-71 season. The league began to record a starter. Youngest playoff starter since the bench. And he scored 18 points in the game, becoming the fourth player in history to score 18 or more points in the playoffs under the age of 21, along with Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony.

Creating a milestone is gratifying, but overall, Kuminga’s performance in this battle needs to be strengthened. Of the 18 points he scored, 12 were concentrated in the fourth quarter when the score gap widened. Looking back at his performance in the early part of the game, Kuminga was obviously a little over-excited. For example, in this transition, the Grizzlies players had already returned to defense, but Kuminga wanted to reluctantly attack with his personal ability, but instead made a fumble error.

In the high-pressure environment of the playoffs, how to handle the ball more delicately and make appropriate decisions, Kuminga seems to have a lot of room for improvement.

Is Morant’s knee really hurt by Poole?

As for the most uproar in this game, it was probably Poole’s defensive moves. During a wave of double-team defense, his hand touched Morant’s knee. Then Morant retired early due to knee discomfort, and Poole was accused by the outside world. Playing action unclean.

Regarding this point, you may refer to the statement of a doctor YouTuber Brian Sutterer MD in the video below. He pointed out that Poole’s suspected pulling action this time was putting pressure on the outside of Morant’s knee, but Morant later massaged the uncomfortable area, but It’s on the inside of the knee, so he speculates that the defensive move wasn’t the main cause of Morant’s knee injury. What’s more, in clinical practice, doctors will also use similar pulling movements to check the patient’s injury during diagnosis and treatment, so the risk of Poole’s movements is actually not high.

However, although experts came forward to explain, but after all, they were just looking at pictures and telling stories. The detailed conditions and causes of Morant’s knee injury still need further examination and diagnosis.

Facing the upcoming G4…

Morant’s knee injury accident during the game, whether it will affect the next game, is still unclear, but for the Grizzlies, in addition to Morant must remain healthy, more importantly, the rest of the Grizzlies players have to get back The rhythm on both ends of the offense and defense will not let Morant fall into a situation of loneliness.

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