Why Warriors' offense vs. Celtics could be unlocked by mid-range jumpers

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Why mid-range jumpers could help unlock Warriors' offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

BOSTON -- As the Warriors search for solutions against the Boston Celtics' vaunted defense, going old school could be the answer to even the series Friday night in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Jordan Poole entered Wednesday night's Game 3 loss at the 3:48 mark in the first quarter with the Warriors down 26-11, hoping for any kind of offensive spark. On the Warriors' second offensive possession after he entered the game, Poole came off a Kevon Looney screen above the top of the arc, made one cut to his right, dribbled and pulled up.

His shot clanked off the front of the rim. Right process, wrong result.

No matter the year, as long as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson remain on the Warriors, Golden State will be known for its 3-point prowess. Poole, or "Kid Splash," entering the fray only adds to that narrative. Draining shots from long distance certainly never hurts and will be a welcome sight to get back in the win column.

Turning back time and taking advantage of the mid-range jump shot looks like an even better remedy.

"Yeah, just being able to take what the defense gives us," Poole said Thursday when asked if the mid-range game can help him and others get going offensively. "Some bigs are deeper than others, some are a little bit higher.

"Being able just to be aggressive and get to the rim as well is something that can help."

The Celtics' big men are playing a ton of drop coverage on the Warriors, looking to take advantage of the length on their wings and inviting a challenge in the paint. That also leaves the mid-range more open a handful of times.

In the regular season, the Warriors averaged 10 mid-range attempts per game and shot 39.1 percent. Throughout the playoffs, that number has increased to 11.1 attempts and a 46.9 percent clip. And against the Celtics, they're now putting up 12.7 mid-range jumpers per game and making 50 percent of them.

Even in their last loss two nights ago, the Warriors went 8-for-14 on mid-range shots. The more, the merrier.

While the Warriors shot 39.1 percent from mid-range distance in the regular season, they converted on 43.8 percent of their shots in the paint, non-restricted area. Those success rates have flipped against the Celtics. They're only converting 33.3 percent of their chances in the paint, non-restricted area.

Boston blocked seven shots Wednesday night and now have swatted the Warriors 20 times in three games. Center Roberts Williams has 10 of those blocks. Weak layups, soft floaters -- those aren't going to work. They haven't so far, and they won't however long these Finals last.

"You just got to be aware of where he is," Andrew Wiggins said Thursday when asked about going strong against Williams. "When he's around the rim, you can't go up soft. He's really good with shot blocking, rim protecting. You got to be smart with stuff you do around the rim."

Down by 15 points and looking to climb back, Wiggins did exactly what he's talking about with Williams. He didn't try to go around him, he tried to be coy. He attacked and got his body into Williams, putting his lead left shoulder into his chest and earning a foul call while throwing up a layup attempt.

If the Warriors want more success against Williams, Wiggins and others have to remember that play. If they want to get going more offensively and find their rhythm, Poole and others have to remember his first shot attempt from last game, even though the results aren't what he wanted.

RELATED: Aggressive Game 4 balancing act required from Draymond

Poole is shooting 55 percent on mid-range shots in the playoffs. Curry is right behind him at 51.9 percent, followed by Wiggins at 48.5 percent and Thompson at 47 percent.

Frank Ricard and Mitch Martin aren't showing up Friday night at TD Garden, but the Warriors reverting to old-school ways with their mid-range game has worked against this stellar Celtics defense.

They can't stop now.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast