Warriors Ride “The Elevator”
Stephen Curry revealed that one of Golden State’s favorite plays is actually a pretty cool metaphor. As Jacob Frankel has demonstrated, the Dubs like to run Stephen Curry between two teammates at the free throw line. His teammates close up after Curry squirts through, thus creating a siamese twin double-pick for Curry’s above-the-break 3. GSW ran this action in their win against Detroit, and while it resulted in one of Curry’s few misses, the process was on point. That process, as Curry calls it, is “The Elevator.”
Blair Witch Shaky Cam With Bad Sound Quality Curry Question of The Night:
“The Elevator,” besides evoking memories of an underrated Eminem song, also serves as a macro metaphor for GSW’s current situation. They’re racing to snag a playoff spot, hoping that the doors close in front of either Utah, Los Angeles, or Houston. Sometimes these situations just sports writer cliche themselves.
If Golden State pulls off their first playoff appearance since back when Baron Davis was skinny, it will be in large part due to actions like this one. GSW lacks a penetrator, or anyone who can draw fouls in bunches. They rely on the long ball and the space created by that three-point threat. But creating three-point opportunities isn’t as simple as merely jacking up shots. The Warriors have managed a top-10 offense in part because they prod and poke defenses with plenty of off-the-ball screenage like we see with “The Elevator.”
After the game, I asked Mark Jackson if he enjoyed designing such an offense. His focus was more on the functional than personal:
“You have to utilize the strengths and try to hide the weaknesses of players. One thing those guys are incredible at is moving without the basketball, moving off of floppy, or motion-offense, catch-and-shoot knock-down shooters. So I try to utilize that to the best of our abilities and make that weapons.”
This is probably connected to what Mark Jackson means when he says that Golden State “isn’t Miami or OKC.” The Warriors lack a superstar who can create offense by brute force. Instead, they must pick their spots and optimize. On the balance, the approach has been working this season. The Warriors Panic Button remains unpressed for now and so long as they stay at least two games above the 9th seed.