BOSTON – A typical query discussed here: Why didn’t the Warriors use starting center Kevon Looney more in Game 3 of the NBA Finals? He played just 17 minutes, sitting your entire fourth quarter when the Celtics played with size to drag away.
Well, Golden State coach Steve Kerr goes the opposite direction.
Forward Otto Porter will start over Looney in Game 4 tonight.
The Stephen Curry–Klay Thompson–Andrew Wiggins-Otto Porter-Draymond Green lineup has been the Warriors’ best within the Finals amongst units to play in all three games with 143.5/119.0/+24.4 offensive/defensive/net rankings. That’s in only 13 minutes, however the lineup has also fared well within the larger sample of the playoffs (140.0/119.8/+20.2 in 45 minutes across 10 games). Those five didn’t play together within the regular season, though not less than the relatively small postseason sample reveals what’d be expected: blistering offensively, questionable (kindly) defensively.
For this to work, Green must defend higher. His rim protection has been essential in making Golden State’s small-ball lineups elite over time. He has been lacking on this series. Now without Looney, Green has no crutch within the paint. A lot is riding on Green.