The Warriors’ latest death squad doesn’t have a nickname yet, but it looks quite lethal against the Nuggets.

The Warriors' latest death squad doesn't have a nickname yet, but it looks quite lethal against the Nuggets.

San Francisco – In Game 1 we get a glimpse. On Monday, we got the full experience.

Until Saturday, we only talked hypothetically about Golden State WarriorsThe latest iteration of the “Death Squad” – one consisting of Draymond Green In the center is surrounded by fast, skilled and athletic shooters and playmakers. Due to various injuries, the unit did not score a single minute during the regular season.

The first edition appeared Harrison Barnes And Andre Iguodala. Then Kevin Durant Join the fight, making things completely unfair. The lineup now consists of Green, Stephen CurryAnd Klay ThompsonAnd Andrew Wiggins And Jordan Paul.

They finally took court together on Saturday, but only for five minutes. That was just enough bait to see the potential, as it scored a ridiculous net worth rating of 127.3 even though Curry wasn’t at the top of his game. In Monday’s match 126-106, the second match was won over Denver Nuggetshowever, the fact of what warriors had at their disposal really determined.

The full unit greeted the court with 6:02 remaining in the second quarter with Golden State slipping 43-35. By the time the first half whistle blew, the Warriors were up 57-51. The new death squad, which has yet to earn a proper title, fired 22-8 in the half-quarter round, and the way they did it should intimidate not only the Nuggets, but whatever teams get in the way in the upcoming play-off rounds.

“It’s a passerby’s paradise for me,” Green said after winning the second game. “You have these three men [Curry, Thompson and Poole] There at the same time, for me as a bystander, this is paradise. …You can’t ask for anything more on the offensive end, any more options.”

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On Monday, Curry, Paul and Thompson took turns eviscerating the Denver defense with 3-second pulls, drives to the basket and back cuts, while Green displayed his outstanding basketball IQ and skill set on both ends. Wiggins glued the unit together by moving the ball, attacking the edge, and closing in defensively.

Curry mentioned how intimidating and talented the closing line-up was “on paper,” but we now have two playoffs with evidence to show that it’s the real deal.

“Technically speaking, I think we’re smaller, but you have to bring defensive power, effort and energy, and then you can again turn it into an advantage on the other end of the floor,” Curry said of the five-man unit. “Vision [Poole] Being able to do pick-and-roll plays with me and Klay’s Spaced and Draymond settings [screens] The cutting puzzles. It checks a lot of boxes on your list of what you want for a strong offensive lineup.”

The word “strong” does not do justice to Monday’s performance. Curry was exceptional, especially considering that this was just his second match after a month-long absence. He scored 34 points in 23 minutes off the bench and was the game-highest in the game plus 32, scintillating, shouting “I’m back” to Chase’s increasingly raucous center crowd. He is now the only NBA player in the shot clock era to score at least 30 points in 23 minutes or less during a playoff game.

Paul scored 29 points, one point short of the 30 he made in his first game on Saturday. Knowing what to expect from Thompson, Curry and Green, the real wild card was Paul, who essentially created a second Steve Curry for teams to compete on the field with with his most impressive playoff performance thus far.

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“I never imagined Jordan would play so well at the start of the season even though he had a great season a year ago. I couldn’t imagine that,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the match. “But he earned it. This guy puts in work every day at the gym and believes in himself, he has a lot of skill.”

Thompson scored 21 points, Wiggins added 13 and eight rebounds, while Green stuffed the stat sheet with six points, six assists, three rebounds, three steals and one assist. Curry, Paul and Thompson combined in a 13-for-28 shootout from a 3-point range—good luck beating the Warriors when that happens.

When the line-up was in the works, it felt like the good old days – when warriors were considered unfair. cheat code. bad for the game. If you can explain how to defend such nonsense, start sending your resume to the NBA teams.

Golden State played with Denver, a team that is not equipped to deal with the attack due to the injuries it sustained Jamal Murray And Michael Porter Jr.. Best Player Award Nikola Jokic He was equally frustrated by the referees and Green, who made his life a living hell for 28 minutes before Jokic was sent off seven minutes from the end of the match after receiving his second technical foul.

Well, time for some caveats. We still only see this warrior unit for a few minutes. Also, with Jokic and Cousins ​​of DeMarcus As their hubs, the Nuggets are the perfect prey for the quick fire and drag that Curry and Poole bring to the arena. When Curry wasn’t training for three-pointers, he would split the Nuggets defense by going in the lane and either kicking to his teammates or ending himself.

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“I thought his patience was fantastic,” Green said of Curry after the match. “Once Steve got into the game, he drove until they stopped him, and the big one was shading toward me to take the jeep away, so he kept driving. I think that broke their defense.”

There are definitely more well-equipped defenses to defend Golden State’s new closing line-up – ranked #1 in the Western Conference Phoenix Suns It comes to mind – but what we saw in the first two games of this Denver series should have served as a warning shot for the league. Those who thought that their days of being intimidated by the death squad were a thing of the past are in shameless awakening.

“There were back-to-back plays where it’s kind of pick your poison and everyone was kind of involved,” Curry said after the match. “It’s that emotion, that feeling, that momentum that we’ve been able to create. It captures the crowd. You can tell it’s affecting them on the other side. Every time you look down they’re trying to figure something out. This is a playoff basketball from where you can make the team.” He worries about many different things. It just makes the game a little easier.”

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