The Portland Trail Blazers led the Golden State Warriors by 15 points at halftime in Game 2 of their 2019 NBA Playoffs series. Instead of cruising to a win, the Blazers succumbed to blitzing pressure on their guards by Warriors defenders, eager to force them to the halfcourt line and into trouble on every attempted pick and roll. Golden State hadn’t employed that defense with gusto during the first half of the contest. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports opens a window to the halftime locker room, sharing Warriors forward Draymond Green’s speech that convinced his team and coach to amp up the “D”.
Haynes sets the table, describing the 9-17, 26-point first half put up by Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. This caused Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr to question not only his team’s effort, but their technique. He asked his team what they wanted to do about it, and Green responded:
“At the end of the day, Dame and CJ have proven over and over again that they can beat anybody,” Green told Yahoo Sports after recording 16 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, seven assists and a game-high five blocks. “And so at halftime, it’s like, ‘Hey, do we want to keep blitzing?’ And I said what I said. We know what Dame and CJ can do. And also in that first half, they were getting free. So I think when you look at the situation, it’s like, ‘Hey man, they’re beating the blitz.’ Well, we’re not aggressive enough on them, so let’s blitz harder.
Like Spinal Tap’s amp, the Warriors defense appears to go all the way to 11.
Game 3 will be played in Portland on Saturday night at 6:00 PM, Pacific. The Blazers trail 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.