“What a game last night! Why don’t they play that way most games??” – Commish, Danville
That’s the question everybody’s mind. Do you need to be playing Dallas to play with that kind of defensive intensity? Do you need the home crowd screaming like crazy to play with that kind of energy and desperation?
If the Warriors played with 75 percent of that intensity, especially on defense, every night, they’d be in the playoffs easily. They’d be a fifth seed or something.
They overcome what really was a poor night in several areas with defense, which fueled the fastbreak and made everything all right. They got killed on the boards. They missed way too many free throws. They got carried away too often for my liking.
But, they shut Dirk down. They forced 17 turnovers, which led to 22 points. They took Dallas out of their rhythm.
Why don’t they play like that most nights? That’s the grand question. There are several reasons. One, they are just immature as a team. They need external factors to trigger such energy. They aren’t self-starters.
Another reason is their defense is tied into successful offense, at least in their minds (it’s actually the other way around in reality). When defense creates offense, they feel better about playing defense. They try harder on defense. When shots fall, they get excited and that energy tranfers. They aren’t the kind of team that just Ds up just because. They don’t pick it up on defense when their shot isn’t falling. They just aren’t made up that way, I guess.
Perhaps the No. 1 reason? Because Baron isn’t there on most nights, or isn’t as focused on defense. If he plays most nights with that kind of passion on defense, it will set the tone for the rest of the team. When he doesn’t, that sets the tone, too.