How can the Golden State Warriors Stop Lebron James
The first question the Golden State Warriors will have to answer when they step on the court of the Oracle Arena in Game 1 is how they can stop or at least slowdown Lebron James. The former MVP has been sensational during the playoffs, completely eviscerating teams like Chicago Bulls Game Seats and Atlanta Hawks. James is surely a top candidate for a playoffs MVP, and if the Cavs win, he will get the Finals MVP trophy for sure. When James is at his best, attacking and creating for others, few teams can slow him down. But the Warriors had the best defence during the regular season, and they are pretty solid in the playoffs as well.
Draymond Green = Kawhi Leonard
The first one to get a crack at James will probably be Draymond Green. He is the Warriors best defender, versatile enough to defend positions 1-4 and probably centre as well. He has the length, the quickness, the craft and the strength to play James on the perimeter, and in the post as well. In the past two finals, Kawhi Leonard, a player very similar to Draymond Green had great success versus James. Leonard was not alone, as the Spurs backed him up, and every time James drove past Kawhi, he was greeted with another defender. The Warriors might try to replicate the strategy and try to force James to be a jump shooter. He has little success from outside of the paint in the playoffs so far, and he is abysmal from 3-pt range, shooting just 17%.
Lebron James versus the Warriors
Lebron James played in just one game versus the Warriors the past season, and if that game is any indication, the Warriors are in trouble. He scored a season-high in that game, guiding the Cavaliers to a 110 – 99 win. James shot 15 – 25 from the floor, and his aggressive play resulted in 11 free throws. The forward hit 8 of those free throws, and he also had a bunch of assists and rebounds to fill up the stat sheet.
Warriors line of victims this offseason
While the Cavs had to face few NBA All-Star Game Tickets, and they had to go through more team-oriented teams, the Warriors fought with 3 of the five All NBA First team members. James will be the fourth player from that company, and the fifth member is Steph Curry. In the first round, the Warriors stopped Anthony Davis, an MVP candidate. He did average 31 points and 11 rebounds, but the Warriors limited all other players from the Pelicans, leaving Davis alone. In the second round, the Warriors went through Memphis Grizzlies Tickets. The star center got his points, averaging 18+, but he was inefficient. The Warriors limited Gasol to less than 40% from the floor. Their best team defensive effort came versus MVP runner-up, James Harden in the West Finals. The Warriors managed to keep Harden to under 20% shooting in two games, allowing him to score just 17 and 14 points in those matchups.
A team effort
While many will expect Draymond Green to do all the dirty work on James, the reality is that it will require a team effort. The good thing about the Warriors is that they can employ more than three 6-6 6-7 players on the floor at all times, giving them the versatility to switch on James constantly. By throwing different defenders, the Warriors will hope to keep Lebron James out of rhythm. And whenever he droves past his defender, have Andrew Bogut at the rim waiting for him. The best news for the Warriors is that Kevin Love is injured. This allows the Warriors to crowd the paint, and keep two defenders there at all times. Tristan Thompson is doing an admirable job of replacing Love in the playoffs, but he doesn’t have the range to spread the floor. And as long as the paint is packed, James might be forced into outside shots.
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