3 Things the Golden State Warriors Need to Do to Take Back the NBA Finals

Can the Warriors bounce back after two straight losses?

Heading into the NBA Finals against a Cavaliers team without Kevin Love and with a near 80% chance to win the series, this was supposed to be easy-as-pie for the Golden State Warriors.

When they won Game 1 and the Cavs lost Kyrie Irving, things grew even more optimistic for them.

But they still had to contend with LeBron James.

Now down 2-1 in the Finals with one more game in Cleveland before heading back to Oracle Arena, the Warriors' backs are against the wall, and some numbers aren't on their side.

So what can the Warriors do to get the odds back in their favor? Let's take a look at three areas after Game 3's loss.

Pick Up the Pace

The Warriors had the fastest pace in the NBA in the regular season at 100.69. In other words, the Warriors were getting an average of 100 possessions per 48 minutes of game play, and that played a big part in why they led the league in points per game in the regular season (110 per game). However, in the NBA Finals, the Warriors' pace has been halted.

Reg. Seasonv. Pelicansv. Grizzliesv. Rocketsv. Cavaliers

The Warriors' pace dipped against the Pelicans and Grizzlies, but the pace in the Finals could be more worrisome. With a loss of seven possessions per 48 minutes plus a 47.1 percent Effective Field Goal percentage that is 6.9 points lower than their regular season mark (another category they led the league in), each possession is proving to be even more valuable.

Protect the Ball

Not only are the Warriors losing more possessions per game and not shooting as well as we'd expect but also they're also turning the ball over more each game. It's not at an alarming rate, but it's still cause for concern.

Reg. Seasonv. Pelicansv. Grizzliesv. Rocketsv. Cavaliers
TO Ratio14.412.618.315.215.4

The Cavaliers aren't forcing turnovers at the rate the Grizzlies were, but we're looking at a full turnover more (per 100 possessions) for the Warriors in comparison to the regular season. Three forces are limiting the Warriors right now: low possessions, even lower shooting percentage and an increase in turnovers. The Warriors need a quick fix and one guy from Game 3 could provide the change needed the rest of the series.

Pick and Roll With Lee

David Lee did not have a great season with the Warriors, playing in only 49 games due to a hamstring injury. Things weren't all that great for the Warriors when he was on the court either.

Of all Warriors players who logged at least 900 minutes this season, Lee was one of three players with a Defensive Rating worse than 100 and netted the highest rating of those three players.

There were two things that Lee did do well though -- limit his turnovers (he had the best ratio of the same group of players with 900 minutes or more) and he served well on screens for pick and rolls.

Points Per PossessionReg. SeasonFinals
Draymond Green0.990.50
Andrew Bogut0.960.86
David Lee0.991.54

Even in limited action this year, Lee was just as good as Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut on setting pick and rolls, putting up almost a point per possession. And thanks to's stats page, we can see that Lee was also the second best in Score Frequency for the team this season. Lee made a huge difference in the game for the 13 minutes he played in Game 3 (his first action of the Finals), allowing the Warriors to claw back into the game.

After Game 1, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Warriors would run away with the Finals. However, their chances have been reduced significantly after losing their second straight game. They are still the favorites, but it's as slim as ever. An increased pace and some sprinkling in of David Lee could be the best recipe for the Warriors to get back into this series.