Steph Curry didn’t hit a single three-pointer Monday, and the Warriors still managed to beat the Celtics in Game 5 — by taking a page from Boston’s playbook.
The Dubs’ success this postseason has been driven by their stellar offense, but they’re no slouches on the defensive end. They held Boston under 100 points for the second time this series, disrupting the rhythm of stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to devastating effect.
Curry’s off-night might be an anomaly for the Warriors, but their lockdown defense was no fluke.
- The Warriors boast a 107.3 defensive rating in the Finals — only slightly less than that of the much-hyped Celtics defense (110).
- They’ve scored 103 points off turnovers this series — the most by a team through five Finals games since the Bulls in 1992.
- The Celtics are 1-7 when they turn the ball over 16+ times in the playoffs.
- Boston’s Tatum (18), Brown (16), and Marcus Smart (15) have the three highest turnover totals in the Finals.
Tatum has played like a superstar throughout the postseason, but in addition to the turnovers, the Warriors have him shooting 23.8% in fourth quarters.
Of course, Golden State’s defense isn’t the whole story: It doesn’t hurt when you have a third high-priced star like Andrew Wiggins ($31.6M) to cover a poor shooting night from Curry (7-22 FG) and the team’s woeful 9-40 3PT clip with 26 crucial points.
With another stifling defensive performance, the Warriors can close things out in Boston despite being four-point underdogs (+150) — with or without a Curry splash party.