Basketball is best played when it’s free. The implied confines of organized basketball makes playing in a ‘system’ sound unattractive, but not when it comes to teams like the Golden State Warriors.
We’ve looked at some of the sets the Warriors like to run here, from their dummy BLOB to elbow pin down sets in the half court, but because of their discipline, chemistry, and IQ, the Warriors get to do what everyone wishes they could — just play basketball.
In a game last week against where Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson erupted for 70 combined points and 16 threes against the Dallas Mavericks, current Mav and former Warrior David Lee made a comment about what took place.
“I think they called four plays the entire night,” Lee said, not even able to put his inside knowledge to good use.
This came with praise from Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, calling the Warriors “breathtaking”, plus Dirk Nowitzki describing them as “incredible” and Chandler Parsons calling them “special”. Back to Lee, though.
People are naive enough to think plays aren’t run often in the NBA. While plenty of folks think it’s just 48 minutes of pick and rolls (though that is the crux of NBA offense) NBA playbooks are extensive.
Teams like the Warriors understand the importance of flow. Much like how we’ve seen the Spurs operate, every player on the floor not only understands his role, but respects the level of focus and attention when it comes to proper movement and spacing. Sure, it’s of huge help to have the most lethal shooting tandem in the land, but the Warriors are a rare exception of basketball teams that have the intelligence and the discipline to run just a few plays for an entire game and be successful.
Everyone can’t be trusted with basketball freedom.