Which strategy will the Warriors deploy to limit Anthony Davis’ defense in Game 6? I No Cap Room
Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer and Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Dan Devine dive into the nitty gritty of various strategies Golden State might deploy to limit Anthony Davis near the rim ahead of Game 6 between the Warriors and Lakers in L.A. One such strategy involves Spurs-era Kawhi Leonard. Hear the full conversation on the Ball Don't Lie podcast network - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
JAKE FISCHER: I can't recall a discourse or a discussion as loud and as warranted, it seems, about one team doing whatever they can to take out one guy as a defensive weapon. All that movement, all that free flowing, all that joy that has captured four titles-- it's just coming down to a bottleneck of, how do we not go against Anthony Davis?
Which to me is like-- I mean, take your hat off to the performance and the impact he's having on that side of the floor. I don't recall these Warriors having to play such a chess match of trying to move the queen of the chessboard completely in the opposite corner of where their action is going.
DAN DEVINE: The player that flashes to mind is Kawhi. You mentioned him in the matching up with LeBron minutes. It might even have been after that. A regular-season thing that you would see more teams doing is, knowing that he was going to guard their best guy in those San Antonio years, just sacrificing that.
To extend the chess metaphor, we'll give you the pawn. We'll move him away. And if we can put Kawhi in isolation away from the play, knowing he's got to stick to that guy, then we can play four on four on the back side of it, and we feel like we've got some opportunities there.
Memphis did this a little bit with AD in the first round. Golden State had a ton of success in Game 4 in the first half. That's why they downshifted to Gary Payton II in the starting lineup, and they were running more pick and roll at AD, getting him involved in the action and away from the rim.
Half time, Darvin Ham switches the match-ups, puts AD onto Wiggins, as opposed to Gary Payton II. The Warriors seemed a little less comfortable with Wiggins attacking in the short role. Maybe Wiggins wasn't quite as aggressive as he needed to be.
And then Golden State goes back to it last night and says, we're going to do it again, and we're going to do it harder, and Wiggins is going to attack more. Whoever they had set in those screens for Steph or for Jordan Poole, whether it was Draymond or Wiggins or Kevon Looney-- I think even Klay did once or twice last night-- those guys, they were involving AD into the action and then looking to play out of that.