Golden State Warriors: 3 keys for Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals

(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Golden State Warriors
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

2. The Warriors need to go back to their roots

Much has been made about the Golden State Warriors being one of the most revolutionary offensive teams in NBA history, but someone needs to remind them that they have a defensive pedigree that is championship caliber because the Toronto Raptors made quick work of the Warriors defense in Game 3.

Granted, that has much to do with the absence of All-NBA defender guard Klay Thompson, but the Golden State Warriors are quietly having an identity crisis. Once heralded as having the second-highest defensive rating in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors continue to regress at that end of the court down to 11th this past season.

Usually, the Warriors have picked up their defensive intensity throughout the playoffs, ramping up their physicality and being more active on the less glamorous side of the court, but this season, they have progressively gotten worse.

Game 3 might have been the greatest testament to the Warriors collective defensive regression, as the Raptors became the third team to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 90.0 percent from the free throw line in an NBA Finals game.

If the Warriors opt to not provide the defensive intensity that made them the juggernaut we all know and love, this series may be over before we know it.