Warriors’ diverse trio of big men have a become center of attention

OAKLAND – By halftime of Game 2 Wednesday night, the Warriors’ trio of role-playing centers had combined to make 10 of 11 shots against the undersized Portland Trail Blazers, an almost ridiculous 90.9 percent conversion rate.

JaVale McGee was 6 for 6, Zaza Pachulia was 3 for 3, and shame on him for missing one, but David West was 2 for 3. And the rest of the team? Just 13 of 37, barely 35 percent. Yet the Warriors led by nine at the break largely because of the astounding efficiency of their diverse big men.

This isn’t the way the Warriors were supposed to begin their roll through the NBA playoffs, but it’s a development that will only serve to make the Warriors that much more daunting as they move forward in the postseason. As a group, McGee, Pachulia and West have made themselves bona fide centers of attention, not just big men taking up space in the paint.

Obviously, all three do dramatically different things. As coach Steve Kerr put it this week, “Zaza’s a screener and a banger, JaVale’s a leaper, runner and a lob guy, David’s a savvy, skilled veteran. They just give us dramatically different looks, and as an opponent, you have to know what you’re getting with each guy.”

Portland, playing without 7-footer Jusuf Nurkic so far, hasn’t gotten it. Warriors centers combined for 33 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and four assists in Game 2, and that’s an uncommonly productive three-headed beast on the block. It was a huge improvement from the Game 1 aggregate, which was certainly decent enough: 16 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and four assists.

Kerr and the Warriors never could have imagined it would evolve into this kind of productive center rotation at season’s outset. The pieces were there, but there were so …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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