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Warriors Hampton 5 lineup no longer an automatic checkmate vs. Rockets

Warriors

The Golden State Warriors were close to facing an embarrassing 30-point loss to the Houston Rockets, if not aided by some garbage-time buckets by their reserves.

Despite putting in the same fearsome Hamptons Five, the Warriors were slow to the gate in the first quarter, turning the ball over seven times in the period and lacking the same laser-focus they had in Game 1.

Yet surprisingly, the teams underwent a style swap, with the Dubs playing a more iso-heavy game with Kevin Durant at the forefront, and allowing cuts to the basket for wide-open layups and the Rockets making quicker decisions and finding the open man.

Draymond Green; commander in chief of the Warriors’ defense, noted his team’s issue wasn’t the offense, but the defensive woes throughout the game.

“I think we settled a lot for isolations,” Green said, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “But those same isolations worked in the first game. I think we could’ve moved the ball a little more, but at the end of the day, I’m not about to sit here, ‘Aw, man, we iso’d too much!’

“We were bad on the defensive end. It wasn’t the offense. It was the defense, it was the turnovers leading to the bad transition defense, them getting easy buckets. It wasn’t offense.”

Putting out a scary lineup is no longer an automatic checkmate against a team able to match or exceed their firepower — presenting a task unlike the Warriors have had to face this season.

In a game of adjustments, the team that will come out on top will be the one that maintains the focus throughout the series, avoiding mental lapses while keeping the foot on the pedal — with both teams able to make long runs to put the game away.