At the Washington Post’s Fancy Stats blog, I wrote about the Golden State Warriors defense and how it is using its three best remaining defenders to force the Los Angeles Clippers into uncomfortable shots. Click here to read the full piece. Here is an excerpt:
J.J. Redick essentially controls the Clippers’ playbook. When he missed 47 games with a variety of injuries, the Clippers had to simplify their schemes. The pin-downs, the “floppy” action and the off-ball movement drifted away.
But Iguodala is the perfect Redick defender. No wing, save Tony Allen, can run around screens like Iguodala, and when you deny passing lanes to one of the league’s best off-screen shooters, it completely changes the dynamic of Los Angeles’s offense. There’s a reason Redick had his hottest stretch of the series in the second quarter of Game 1, when Iguodala sat on the bench with foul trouble.
No one sticks to Redick like Iguodala, and because of that he either ends up completely denying him the ball, contesting every shot or, sometimes, even frustrating the Duke alum so much that he pushes off and turns it over:
In essence, containing the Clippers’ offense is about cutting off passing lanes. Iguodala turns himself into Elmer’s Glue as he guards a guy who ran off screens on a hefty 31 percent of his plays during the regular season, according to MySynergySports.
Golden State communicates as well as any other team defensively. Just look at how Green comes over to help baseline on that Redick turnover, only to recover back to Blake Griffin in time after J.J. makes the pass. It’s the key trait of every Iguodala defense. And Klay Thompson is part of that communication, too.