Slowing down the Warriors Small Ball Lineup

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Look, there is no way of stopping the Warriors Small Ball lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala, and Draymond Green. All you can hope to do is slow it down. As of Saturday, they had an offensive efficiency rating of 154.7 and defensive efficiency rating of 84.8, for a total rating of 69.9 points per 100 possessions. They also shoot 64% from the field. No other five man lineup even comes close. Fortunately, they can’t play it all the time. In fact, they’ve only used it roughly 5 min per game and only in 14 games (when you blow out other teams, you don’t have too).  But when the Warriors break that lineup out, you know it’s crunch time.

There are many different reasons why this lineup is so lethal. Everybody on the floor can shoot. Everybody on the floor can defend and switch on pick and rolls. Draymond is an excellent rebounder and defender against bigger power forwards and centers. Iggy, Klay, and Barnes are all elite perimeter defenders. Oh, and that guy Stephen Curry, the MVP? He can shoot from anywhere within 28 feet and embarrass you. No team in the NBA has a small lineup that can beat them, your best bet is to not let them kill you.

So what if it is a tight game and the Hornets need to counter, what lineup should go with?

Point Guard: Kemba Walker

This one is easy, he is quick, he is an improved defender, and clearly he can score.

Shooting Guard: PJ Hairston

This one may be a bit of a head scratcher, but with PJ’s improved defense he is able to stay out on the floor and hang with this lineup. I considered going with Jeremy Lin here, but with the size difference between Lin (6’3) and Thompson (6’7), I think Lin would have a lot of trouble defending Thompson.

Small Forward: Jeremy Lamb

Lamb has the size to stay with Harrison defensively, and he has the playmaking and scoring to help put the ball in the basket on the offensive end.

Power Forward: Nic Batum

He doesn’t play a lot of 4, but he would be the ideal matchup for Iggy. Both good defenders, and Nic can score and make plays for his teammates.

Center: Marvin Williams

He is the same size as Draymond, and is a good rebounder for his size which is required when playing against Draymond. He can defend on the perimeter as well, and offers spacing to the offense with his shooting and passing.

I could also see Coach Clifford putting Marvin at the 4 and Cody Zeller at the 5 with Walker, Lamb, and Batum. Marvin is a good enough defender to stay with Igoudala and Cody is a very good athlete for his size. I think there is a good chance Clifford goes with this lineup because he feels more comfortable with players at their natural positions.

 

The biggest thing about the small ball lineup isn’t stopping it, it’s just not getting burned by it. Not only do they score, they swarm defensively, so even with a healthy Big Al, entering the ball into the post for him is nearly impossible. As Hornets fans, we need to hope we see the Warriors small ball lineup, because that likely means it’s crunch time and the game is close.

 

Meet The “Bring Back the Buzz”Blog Team

Tyler Ball (Tyler Knows Nest)

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My name is Tyler and I have lived over half my life in Charlotte NC, so naturally seeing the Hornets come back home where they belong was an amazing piece of history to witness. I have a couple nicknames so if you reply directly to me feel free to call me Tyler or “T.Ball” if you want. I am a proud Alumnus of The Marshall University and have found a passion for sports journalism.

I am also a Staff Writer at Fansided.com for three pages so feel free to also check them out!:

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David Walters (Buzz Weekly)

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What’s up Hornets fans, my name is David Walters and I am one of the new writers for Bring Back the Buzz.  I’ve always been a homer when it comes to sports; I love the Carolina Panthers, I bleed Tar Heel blue and of course I have always enjoyed Charlotte Hornets basketball.  I have covered Charlotte professional sports for over seven years now and I look forward to sharing my writing with you Hornets fans, particularly as we embark on a historic return to our trademark name during this season.  Feel free to comment and carry on conversations with my articles, as I feel that bringbackthebuzz.com is an excellent forum to keep us involved with other like-minded Hornets fans.

Take care and KEEP BUZZING!

 

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Chris Parette (Hornets Hardball)

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I am currently at UNCC as a Communications Major, and I would love to be a sports journalist one day. I love going to Hornets games and watching them on TV, and I am looking forward to the future after some shaky Bobcats seasons. Other hobbies I enjoy include watching Football, playing Hockey, and working out.

You can follow me on twitter @ExtraChrisP_

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(Left to Right: Scotty & Evan Kent)

(Left to Right: Scotty & Evan Kent)

Scotty and Evan started Bring Back The Buzz back in 2010. Scotty is a Middle Grades Educator at Our Lady of Assumption school and Evan is a Senior at Appalachian State University (Major: Public Relations, Minor: Marketing)

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