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The Golden State Warriors wiped out the Dallas Mavericks 147-116 Thursday night, and with James Wiseman and Kevon Looney both sustaining injuries, they managed to make it through to play without a single player taller than 6 feet -7 was, and for a minute the Mavericks 54-36 performed better in the color

On paper, that doesn’t seem to make sense The Mavericks start 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis and 6-foot-10 Maxi Glue, and 6-foot-10 Dwight Powell got 15 minutes off the bench and yet did the super little ones Warriors beat them up somehow?

This is one of the misnomeres that modern basketball has uncovered: Being tall doesn’t automatically mean inner dominance. Since the Warriors had no center in the line-up, they could spread the floor with an extra shooter and Dallas’ Bigs out of the suit drag, unlocking a series of back cuts and general moves reminiscent of the warriors of the beautiful game of the past Draymond Green had 15 assists that made all of this possible

Through Thursday, the Warriors had either Wiseman or Looney started in the middle of every game, and Steve Kerr had only used one line-up for a total of just 17 possessions, with Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr and green per cleaning the glass

Wiseman has a decent jumper, but both he and Looney clog the lane and also do not contribute to a collective ball and player movement that forces defensive failures and results in easy baskets, however, with four shooters around green there is too much space behind the defense and there are too many players walking around for a forward-looking playmaker like him not to be able to take advantage of the openings everywhere

Oubre had a career high of 40 points with the Mavericks one night after his minus-25 win in a four-point loss to Boston. He was fantastic, shooting 14 out of 21 in seven of his 10 3-point attempts He’s had 3-pointers open all season so we can’t fully relate his hot night of shooting to a grander subject, but it’s safe to say that he felt more comfortable spreading the alignment without facing resistance As soon as he got started – note his first two marks of the night were inside the restricted area to set the rhythm – the shots continued

Juan Toscano-Anderson became the fifth starter, Damion Lee and Mychal Mulder played together for 39 minutes, and the Warriors ran circles around Dallas. When you have more shooters on the ground, it’s not all about distance and movement It’s about getting more shots The warriors hit 22 3-pointers on a 51 percent clip

To be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean the Warriors unlocked anything sustainable The Mavericks are a poor defensive team, and while Golden State’s execution was near-flawless, Kerr is inclined to think in the short-term that he can do it just as much about post-season preparation, if not more than regular season production

There’s an argument that everyone, from Curry on the squad, benefits from shooting as much on the floor as possible, but it’s hard to get small all day in the playoffs, and certain matchups don’t even allow those who have the problem of Green wearing out have to defend above his weight class for over 40 minutes Kerr wants defense Versatility Everyone needs to be able to play with everyone

But this injury-related line-up change is certainly fascinating.Many people would tell you that David Lee’s accidental injury at the start of the 2014-15 season paved the way for Green to see more minutes in lineups that perfectly matched his skills first Golden State title under Kerr This is obviously not on this level, but change often arises out of necessity

Whether this smaller line-up becomes the new starting unit is more of a minor matter here too, there is a cumulative effect to consider, and not all teams will be as happy as Dallas at starting 3-pointers rather than punishing smaller teams inside the question is perhaps whether these off-center line-ups have any heightened effect on courses, perhaps most importantly as finishing units Either way, for one night at least, a little ball made the warriors’ offense sing as it used to be

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Kelly Oubre

World News – USA – Warriors Unlock Draymond Green, Kelly Oubre Jr they were forced to play with small ball setups