Warriors’ new lineup has surprised Myers with immediate impact originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Like most of the basketball world, Bob Myers didn’t know what to expect from the Warriors entering the playoffs given their injury troubles this season.
Myers and coach Steve Kerr both knew the Warriors were going to have to trot unseen lineups out against the Denver Nuggets, hoping to build chemistry as they advance through the playoffs.
Golden State’s first three playoff games couldn’t have gone better, as the Warriors roared out to a three-games-to-none series lead on the back of their new unnamed Death Lineup before losing Game 4. If one thing has surprised the Warriors ‘ president of basketball operations through the first four postseason games, it’s the immediate impact of lineups that didn’t play together during the regular season.
“I think what has surprised me is that we have gotten to see some of the lineups we envisioned work really well,” Myers told 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” on Tuesday. “We just didn’t have a sense of the lineups you have seen close games, with Draymond, Wiggins, Klay, Steph, and Poole.
“You’ve got to understand that they have never played together before. Zero minutes before the playoffs. I’m surprised it looks as good as it does without any time, any buildup. Walking on the court with guys you have never played with is a disadvantage [reps] and we didn’t get them. I feel like that’s the silver lining [of losing Game 4]. I still feel like we need a lot of time. We didn’t have any games at all — not tough games, not easy games, not games at the start, not games at the end.
“I’m surprised, you know, that we saw in Game 1 that that lineup got out there and did as well as it did. … You can’t just throw talent out there and expect it to jell. That has been the biggest surprise is to see some of these combinations come together as fast as they have. But we still have work to do.
The Warriors’ new lineup changed the tenor of both Games 1 and 2, but struggled a bit in Game 3.
As a whole, Golden State was sloppy and erratic during its 126-121 Game 4 loss on Sunday at Ball Arena. A late flurry by Curry and Thompson allowed the Warriors to almost steal the game and sweep the Nuggets, but Golden State is viewing having one more first-round game as a positive.
“We just got to play better,” Green said Sunday. “This isn’t the worst thing for us. We get more reps together, more playoff-like reps together. It isn’t all bad. We got to go home and take care of our business and close out the game and not come back to Denver.”
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Kerr was happy his team finally got to experience a close-out game on the road, and hopes they can learn from their missteps in Game 4.
“We needed that,” Kerr said. “We took ourselves out of the game because we were too excited. And part of winning playoff basketball games on the road is executing, being poised, understanding what’s happening, and sticking to the game plan. Between the turnovers and the fouls, the back cuts … like I said, we didn’t deserve to win.
“But, now, you take that and put it in your back pocket. And you’ve got it in the memory bank for the next time we’re in that situation. … This is the situation you want in any playoff series when you’re hosting: sweep the first two, get one out of two on the road, and go home with a chance to clinch.
The Warriors will look to close out the Nuggets on Wednesday night at Chase Center and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
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