Warriors innovate NBA’s small-ball revolution with defense

This was often mentioned as a reason the Warriors would not win their fourth championship in eight seasons. The thought-process was simple: Golden State would need more of an interior presence, particularly on defense, to counter high-level big men in the playoffs.

But as the Warriors enter Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden on Thursday night with a chance to hoist another Larry O’Brien trophy, they are just fine with their lack of size. In its three wins this series, Golden State has held the Celtics to an average of 93 points – quite the feat when one considers that, to win the Eastern Conference, Boston failed to score at least 100 points only twice in 20 games.

Instead of relying on lumbering 7-footers to patrol the paint and block shots, the Warriors have stayed alert in their assignments, blanketed shooters one-on-one and made the Celtics uncomfortable. Golden State is up 3-2 in these Finals because it has scored 103 points off Boston’s 78 turnovers – the third-most points off turnovers through the first five games of a Finals since 1990.

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