Steve Kerr discusses Warriors’ fourth quarter defense on James Harden in Game 5
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talked about his team’s defense on Houston Rockets star guard James Harden, noting that the Warriors “defended him like crazy” in the final quarter of Game 5 of this highly dramatic West semifinal series.
Per Mark Berman of Fox 26, Steve Kerr admitted that the Dubs never felt that they contained James Harden effectively in the fourth quarter. Kerr also noted that the Warriors’ defense has been generally good at crunch time.
“We’re just trying our best. James is a tremendous player. It never felt like we had him under control last night, but we defended like crazy in the 4th quarter.”
Steve Kerr on the impact the Warriors defense had in limiting James Harden in the 4th quarter of game 5: “We’re just trying our best. James is a tremendous player. It never felt like we had him under control last night, but we defended like crazy in the 4th quarter.” #Rockets pic.twitter.com/2bvwAicfPf
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 10, 2019
Harden finished with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, 3-of-9 from the 3-point line, and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He tormented Steve Kerr for much of the game and put Houston in position to win. Though he just scored five points in the final quarter, James Harden kept the Warriors defense honest by always threatening to unleash his dreaded step-back and finding his teammates.
It was Steph Curry who principally answered the call for Golden State with a huge fourth quarter after Durant’s injury. The Curry flurry of made jump shots recalled Steph’s pre-Durant days in 2015 and 2016, when the nature of the Warriors’ offense was very different due to the relative lack of isolation plays tailored to Durant.
Game 6 will be the Warriors’ chance to close out the series. It’ll be a much more difficult task as they’ll be without Kevin Durant, who suffered a calf strain in Game 5. More than his scoring, Durant has been one of the key defenders sent by Steve Kerr to contain James Harden. It would be interesting to see how the Warriors will adjust their defensive strategy, knowing the Rockets will put their best foot forward in Game 6.
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