Big blow for the Warriors, doomed to a feat?

Well pitched in this second round of the playoffs, the Warriors are in trouble ahead of Game 3 against the Grizzlies. They lost their weapon in defense, namely Gary Payton II. Ja Morant is now very free, and so much so as to say that the leader is on fire. There is no choice, Steve Kerr will have to make decisions to limit the break … or it will be the door.

After a controlled first round against the Nuggets, despite losing two games, the Warriors already have more difficulties against the Grizzlies. It must be said that Ja Morant is in a cloud, like his last game and his history (check here). However, the star also took advantage of a major injury for the Dubs: that of Gary Payton II, who likely won’t be back this postseason.

The winger isn’t the one who scores the most points or anything, but he knows how to defend, and gets a lot of energy off the bench. However, against Memphis he was promoted to the starting 5 with only one mission: to limit Morant as much as possible. But without him, the task looks daunting for the Dubs, who will have to rely on a fit Klay Thompson, if he can do it defensively.

Ja Morant’s success against the Warriors

Second Spectrum was rightly interested in Payton’s impact on Morant, compared to the rest of the roster. We can say that the difference is big, since the winger was working hard to limit Ja offensively. The Warriors, therefore, will have to find a solution to stop him, in the hope that another player does not catch fire in attack. Otherwise, passing this round will be very difficult.

It might be easier for Ja Morant on offense now that Gary Payton II is out for the rest of the series.

With a Gary Payton II around, we can see the Grizzlies’ offense drop to 88.2 points, down from 98.3 points per 100 possessions with everyone else. Clearly, Memphis is less productive, as confirmed by his shooting efficiency (% eFG). A stat that encompasses 3-point shots made by a team, which have a bonus over 2-point shots. One way to measure the effectiveness of an attack, and as we can see in this graph, the Grizzlies’ attack falls to the ground with GPII.

For simpler stats, focus on Morant’s 47 drives in Game 2. The leader broke free, forcing the Warriors to find solutions for the rest of this series. The formula is pretty simple for Steve Kerr’s men: stop the leader to get through to the next round, or have a top-of-the-game Steph Curry answer him.

Ja Morant released from Gary Payton II, the point guard could do a lot against the Warriors for the rest of this series. Steve Kerr and his staff will have to find solutions, perhaps with a Klay Thompson. All the more reason to watch Game 3 this Friday night with close attention.

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