Warriors innovate NBA small ball revolution with defense

That’s often cited as the reason the Warriors couldn’t win a fourth championship in eight seasons. The thought process is simple: Golden State needs more interior presence, especially on the defensive end, to counter high-level bigs in the playoffs.

But with the Warriors heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden on Thursday night with a chance to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy again, their lack of size is good too. In three wins in this series, Golden State has kept the Celtics’ average to 93 — considering Boston’s Eastern Conference win, only twice in 20 games have failed to score at least 100 points, which is quite an achievement.

Rather than relying on a lumbering 7-footer to patrol and block the paint, the Warriors were vigilant in their assignment, covering shooters one-on-one to make the Celtics uncomfortable. Golden State went 3-2 in these Finals as it scored 103 points on Boston’s 78 turnovers — the third-most turnovers in the first five games of the Finals since 1990 ‘s team.

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