Home / NBA Podcasts  / On the NBA Beat  / On the NBA Beat Ep. 35a: Andy Liu: Warriors Should “Put Draymond at Center, Speed Everything Up” vs. Thunder

On the NBA Beat Ep. 35a: Andy Liu: Warriors Should “Put Draymond at Center, Speed Everything Up” vs. Thunder

The mighty, 73-win, defending champion Golden State Warriors squandered a 13-point halftime lead, as the Oklahoma City Thunder stole Game 1 at Oracle Arena Monday night. While Golden State of Mind’s Andy Liu admits the Thunder are playing their strongest basketball at the most ideal time, he believes the Warriors and Stephen Curry will have enough to get through to the Finals. He does, however, express concern over the MVP’s health, Golden State’s shot selection and which coach is currently doing the better job. Entertaining, informative segments have been transcribed below:

1:46-3:22“They (the Warriors) should probably panic – like a controlled panic obviously. We don’t want (head coach) Steve Kerr to suddenly start making wholesale schematic changes. It’s not like they lost by 30… If Steph was 100 percent healthy, I think that he would’ve bailed them out last night, which would’ve been fine, but moving forward I don’t think he’s gonna get to 100 percent for the rest of the playoffs. So it’s a matter of ‘Can he play at 80, 85 percent and still carry this offense when it counts throughout the rest of the series?’”


4:30-4:49“It’s just a matter of ‘How are they going to do it (start strong) again in Game 2, and then when OKC comes back and hits them, are they gonna lose composure again?’ You would believe that a championship team like this wouldn’t lose composure like that again, but, hey, OKC’s already done this to the Spurs three straight games; that was super-impressive.”

7:46-8:22“I’ve covered the team for about 3.5 years now, and that crowd in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals was by far the worst that I’ve heard. That one was bad. That one was regular-season level – like a random November regular-season game against the Orlando Magic. It was that bad. It didn’t get loud until the fourth quarter when the Warriors were making a run, IN the (first) game of a Western Conference Finals.”  


10:45-11:42“I think the Warriors need to go small more. I think whenever the Warriors struggle, whenever they go down in a series, the best cure that they have is just to put Draymond Green at center; speed everything up. Draymond Green is one of those rare, or maybe only, guys that can play 3, 4 and 5 and rebound as well…A lot of that second half was played in the half court, and in the half court OKC out-rebounded them, got to the line with free throws and then were able to lock down Steph Curry off the ball…just because the other team’s going big, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to.”   

16:52-17:45“(Russell Westbrook was) very good with the quick double on the pick and roll. And Steph has a tendency to – he still does after all these years – just throw careless passes out of pick and rolls. When he gets doubled, for some reason, either he just gets flustered or he throws it thinking it’ll work. He tries to throw it through four arms, or he tries to throw it through three people, and he did it like five, six, seven, eight times last night…This isn’t to say that OKC wasn’t playing good defense; they were. They were playing really good defense. But I’ve seen Steph do this a lot. And him cleaning up just means ‘be smarter.’ That’s basically it. It’s not some magical thing that he has to figure out.”  


21:28-21:43“I do expect a better shooting game from KD (Kevin Durant), do expect a better overall performance, maybe, from Westbrook. But then on the flip side of that, you do expect less turnovers from the Warriors, more focused defense in crunch time and a lot better shooting from Steph Curry.”

23:37-23:50“All in all, the Warriors were a mess on offense last night (Game 1). And they just weren’t moving, weren’t playing, as Steve Kerr says, within the flow of themselves, and it was just a lot of hero-style playmaking.” 


25:06-25:37“They’ve got to put Steph on the ball regardless of whether he’s at 80 percent or 100 percent…The tentativeness, I can’t tell if it’s either him or if it’s just the injury. If they just get him the ball more. Just run a simple pick and roll with Draymond, have Draymond slip that pick and roll, have Steph not turn it over and then just run a 4-on-3. That’s literally the most unstoppable play in the NBA right now.”


28:42-29:07“I think that’s (Curry is) what puts the Warriors notches above the Spurs, the Thunder…(It’s) his ability to take over games in a way that no other player can. He’s just got to figure out if he’s gonna able to do it in this series, because if that knee’s not gonna allow him to do it, then this might be over. But my gut tells me that his knee is gonna be fine, (that) he’s gonna be able to do just enough to get them past the Thunder.”

PREDICTION: Warriors in six 

Music: “Who Likes to Party?” by Kevin MacLeod