NBA scores 2017: Warriors took away the Rockets’ biggest offensive weapon
The Golden State Warriors knew the Houston Rockets had a barrage of three-point attempts headed their way. The Rockets have an entire arsenal of three-point shooters aimed at every team they face, and the Warriors were no different. When the two teams faced on Friday, Houston launched 35 attempts from beyond the arc.
Only seven of them hit.
The Rockets always shoot reckless, quick and contested three-pointers — that’s their style. Another trick they have developed is consistently launching shots deep behind the line. That’s how they’re taking an unprecedented number of threes this season and shattered NBA records as they go. But Houston also thrives on another type of three: normal, open ones. On Friday, Golden State all but took those away in their 125-108 win.
That’s the Warriors. You’ve heard it 100 times now, but while their offense gets most of the attention, their defense is just as good. On Friday, it was clear their plan was to smother the Rockets at the three-point line, forcing them into contested transition triples and isolation stepbacks with the shot clock winding down. Look at James Harden’s 0-of-5 shooting, and Trevor Ariza’s 2-of-8, plus Eric Gordon, and Sam Dekker’s combined 1-of-14. Clearly, it worked.
The Warriors have used a game plan like that all season, though. They currently have the league’s best defense, but they also are the best team in the league at guarding the three-point line. Teams playing Golden State shoot 31.7 percent…