Warriors set bar on rotating defenders
Positionless doesn’t sound like a compliment in sports, but it’s definitely praise in regard to NBA defense.
That’s the word Charlotte Hornets associate head coach Stephen Silas used Tuesday to describe the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who will face the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena tonight.
By “positionless,” Silas meant the Warriors’ roster is full of long, interchangeable defenders. Think Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston all equipped to guard multiple positions.
That allows Golden State players to constantly switch who they’re guarding when encountering picks.
The Warriors are without twotime Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, who sprained his right ankle Monday in a game against the Pelicans.
The Warriors are 19-6, and are top 10 in the NBA in offensive (1st) and defensive (7th) efficiency (defined as what a team scores, or allows, per possession). Their interchangeable parts are a big factor in the Warriors having won two of the past three championships, and playing in all three of those Finals.
“They’re all long and athletic, and they’ll be switching a whole bunch,” Silas said.
“In pick-and-roll basketball, you’re trying to get two defenders (converged on) the ball. The way to combat that defensively is to switch.
“That means a lot less draw and kick (by the ballhandler) and help and recover (by other defenders). It’s a lot more one-onone game.”