The Golden Warriors have surely changed their approach against their Western Conference Finals rival Houston Rockets, nearly tripling their isolation plays against them, according to Synergy.
As pointed out by Tom Haberstroh of Bleacher Report, the Dubs only isolated 6.9 times per game during the regular season, with that numbers increasing ever-so-slightly in the postseason, to now a whopping 20.5 times per game.
WARRIORS ISOS PER GAME
Reg season 6.9
vs. SAS 7.3
vs. NOP 7.0
vs. HOU 20.5
NEW BIG #⃣ on @countthedings: pic.twitter.com/JZEAuEcHRT
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 24, 2018
The Warriors have emulated the most iso-heavy team in the league, looking to exploit any defender willing to guard Kevin Durant one-on-one.
Golden State has run iso plays a whopping 82 times through four games against the Rockets, while only doing so 73 times in their other 10 postseason games against the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans.
This was made utterly evident in their losses, as Games 2 and 4 boasted the most iso-heavy runs of the four games.
Durant himself has had 48 isolation plays, which is more than the entire team had against the Cleveland Cavaliers during last year’s NBA Finals, which has resulted in a much slower pace.
The Warriors are 14-1 when they play at their fastest pace, but only 7-8 in their slowest games, which has been the trend they have lulled into during this series.
Golden State is averaging a mind-blowing 73 less passes per game than they did against the New Orleans Pelicans, which obviously has them way off the 300-passes-per-game pace that coach Steve Kerr has predicated his offensive system under.
The defending champions only managed to tally 14 assists in Game 4; the worst assist total under the Steve Kerr era — one which resulted in a stagnant fourth quarter in which they shot only 3-of-18 from the floor, quickly surrendering a 10-point fourth quarter lead.