SAN FRANCISCO — A night when every Golden State Warriorsplayer to play meaningful minutes, finished in double-figure score. It was their defense that led to their 112-87 victory over the Dallas MavericksGame 1 of Western Conference finals.
Before this series began, the Warriors preached team defense mentality. Nobody was going to be capable of taking on the Mavericks' task, especially not the Warriors. Luka Doncic, alone.
But someone had to bear the brunt. It was. Andrew WigginsWho was assigned to be the primary defender for Doncic.
It wasn't to stop Doncic, that's almost impossible. But to slow him down and make sure that everything he gets was earned and not taken. Wiggins got as close to the goal as anyone.
Doncic had five contested shots against Wiggins. He did have one breakaway dunk for his sixth field goals. But he kept Dallas' star to 5-of-11 shooting. Doncic was forced into three turnovers by Wiggins.
“He was moving them puppies tonight.” Klay Thompson said.
“That's why they were the No. 1 pick. That athleticism is not something you can teach. That length is not something you can teach. His timing is not something you can teach. “I'm happy that the world is seeing who he is. He's an amazing wing player. I expect he will continue to be this way for the next ten years.”
Doncic finished the night scoring 20 points on 6-of-18 shots, including 2-of-10 contested shots. This was Doncic's third lowest-scoring career playoff game. It was also the third time in 24 postseason games that he had not scored more than 20 points.
Doncic said, “They were doing an amazing job on me,” especially in the second part. “But I think that I have to do better. It's up to me. As a leader, I have to do more for my group.
Jason Kidd, Dallas coach said that Wiggins picked him up on the full court. They went zone after they were box-and-1. They did a great job. Credit them. Wiggins did an excellent job. We knew going into the series that that was what we were going see. We will look back at the video to determine what we can do better.
Only the Warriors' previous match was Game 6 against The Warriors. Memphis GrizzliesMike Brown was the associate head coach. Wiggins asked Brown if he could take over. Tyus JonesAll court Wiggins and Doncic did it again on Wednesday, Kidd stated.
Wiggins would often pick Wiggins up on the full court, keeping his side and following his movements up to 94 feet above the court. This can be enough to frustrate even defenders who aren't trying to poke or jab at the ball.
“It's an obvious tactic in terms of making guys work.” Stephen Curry said. It's one more thing to consider. It doesn't bother me, but it's something you have to think about. Wiggs will keep at it. However, it's only one more thing to remember. That's good playoff hockey.
Is a full-court press, in which Wiggins scores 19 points and contributes five rebounds and three assists, ever tiring him out?
“I feel young. Wiggins stated, “I don't really feel too tired.” “I am focused. I am motivated. When I see it working or feel that it is helping us play better, it motivates me to do more. I don't feel exhausted. It's adrenaline. It's just good.
Thompson said that Wiggins has been able to become the best version of himself as an athlete because he is with Golden State. This isn't a new concept — Wiggins' role in any discussion about his success has been the center of every conversation. Wiggins doesn't have any of the responsibilities that he did in Minnesota.
His load is on the other side, and he doesn’t mind it.
However, the Warriors knew going into this matchup that no single player could complete this task alone.
Doncic was double-teamed seven more times. The Mavericks went 1-of-5 for four points and a turnover, while Doncic was 2-of-7 for seven.
Steve Kerr, Warriors coach, said that it was an “excellent defensive night overall.” “We had the second-ranked defense this year,” Kerr said. We take pride in our defense. Everyone has a different kind of lean on Draymond [Green]. Draymond sets our tone. We had a solid defensive night. We can't afford to lose our guard.”
Despite being a good 3-point shooting team, the Mavericks could not get anything going from beyond the arc. Dallas made 3-of-23 on 3-pointers contested and 8-of-25 open.
They spread you out tremendously. Kerr stated that they took 48 3s and it was difficult to cover all of the ground. It takes a lot of effort and, for the most part, it was worth it. We contested shots well, and challenged everything that was possible. It was just a matter of playing with a lot and really putting in the effort.
Although the Warriors are happy with their performance in Game 1, they realize that this is only a start. A number of players acknowledged that this was only one match, and it was the first game in a best-of-7 series.
They are aware that they cannot maintain their performance levels, but will need to improve it as Dallas makes adjustments.
Thompson stated, “We expect them come back with much better effort Friday.” “It's only one match. Although we can be happy now, this team was down by 2-0 and won last round.
They say that Doncic has seen everything the Mavericks have not seen. They are aware that there is only one way to go.
“He is just brilliant.” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “I believe he has seen every defense. … It's likely that you have developed counters to it if you've ever seen it. Now it's about improving each game one by one, and he's a master at this.