Step One: Points in the Paint
The Warriors biggest weakness is points in the paint as you can see in game one. Kevin Love played like he was in Minnesota down low and they had troubles keeping LeBron James from taking it to the rack. Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance even crashed the paint a few times and got some rebounds. Draymond Green is a great defender, but Love is just too big and too polished for him down low. Javale McGee is the only presence they have in the paint, but he can only play in spurts. Playing physical down low forces double teams, which leaves their shooters with good looks. The Rockets did this the best as Clint Capela got putbacks, boards and dunks off of assists from Chris Paul and James Harden. Which gave everyone good looks.
Step Two: Keep Them Out of Rhythm
This is very important. But also very difficult. Keeping Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson cold is hard. You have to at least keep 2 of the 3 out of rhythm. The Rockets did a decent job keeping Steph and Durant in check for the majority of the series. The Cavs did a good job defending Kevin Durant game 1 when Klay and Steph couldn’t get a consistent shot. All due to physical defense and switching off of screens.
Step Three: Hit Open Shots
You HAVE to take advantage of open looks. This applies to any team. In game 1 the Cavs were hitting the majority of their looks which resulted in a close game. But in Game 2, they bricked just about everything. JR Smith bricked, Kevin Love bricked, almost everyone. You can not miss open looks or you’ll have a big mountain to climb. The Rockets did this except for the 2nd half in game 7. They almost beat the Warriors until Chris Paul got hurt. The Cavs HAVE to hit shots.
Step Four: Limit Transition Offense
The main reason why the Cavs lost last year is because they couldn’t keep the Warriors from running in transition. They had troubles stopping their transition offense in game 2 this series as well. In game 1, they stopped all of that. The Warriors thrive in transition. That’s how they get their rhythm. That’s how they dominate. They get a stop or turnover, then they all speed down the court before the defense can react. They are so quick and efficient, the best way to stop this is playing smart offense and collecting offensive boards. You can’t turn the ball over. This goes hand in hand with step two.