How Golden State Warriors built NBA's best defense
Joyce Park stashed this in The Sporting Life
Excellent, detailed article on how the Warriors completely revamped their entire identity as a run-and-gun team. My one quibble is that the article is a bit TOO diplomatic -- in particular to former star player Monta Ellis and former coach Mark Jackson. Yes, scheme makes a difference in defense... but the NBA is the most improvisational of sports leagues, and a lot of basketball defense is just GETTING AFTER IT. It is impossible to have a great defense when the team's best player refuses to commit to the grunt work necessary. It is also impossible to have a great defense when the head coach refuses to truly empower his or her assistant coaches -- who are there to, among other things, shore up the head coach's weaknesses.
Thanks to this article I learned how the Warriors drafted specific players of a particular style:
For the Warriors, positions mean so little on defense because they've built a roster comprised of guys the same size. The players and coaches call it "versatility," a common set of qualities that allows the team to constantly switch on and off the ball. With Iguodala, Livingston, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Justin Holiday, Golden State has a half-dozen long, defensively talented players who stand between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8. That height range is perfect for navigating between marking little guys and grappling with big men. For example, Green typically guards power forwards, but he can stop Chris Paul in a pinch.