It’s interesting. When the Golden State Warriors lost Game 3 of the NBA Finals – or better yet, when they were blown out, 120-90 – the post-game chatter from the losing squad focused on a lack of effort.
So, does that mean the Warriors weren’t trying? And isn’t that sort of disrespecting and discrediting the Cavaliers?
“I would call it lip service,” Danny Granger said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “In the NBA, we always try to credit failure to ourselves because then you know you can change it. You had too many turnovers, you didn’t get back on defense, you got out-rebounded, and those are things you can always get to your film room and you can address and you can change. When you just say, ‘This team flat out out-played us and they beat us,’ that’s not something you can change. That’s just something you have to go out and try to fix in the next game. I think they like to lean on the fact that we did this to ourselves and we didn’t play hard enough. That alludes to saying, ‘If we had played hard enough, we would have won the game.’”
Granger, a former All-Star, knows how postgame press conferences go after a loss. You make a politically correct statement about how the other team played well and deserved to win, even if you don’t necessarily feel that way.
“I think that’s the lip service that you kind of have to say,” Granger said. “But you never want to give too much credit to the other team because to be honest, it all comes down to what you’re doing as a team – what you are doing and what you’re not doing.”
What the Warriors weren’t doing, according to them, was playing with effort. Steph Curry said it was him not making shots. Draymond Green said it had nothing to do with X’s and O’s.
Granger, however, doesn’t think it’s that simple.
“I never really feel that the Warriors lack effort,” he said. “I think that’s an easy scapegoat to give. The Warriors play extremely hard. I think they didn’t make shots that they usually make. Cleveland had a different game plan. They didn’t switch like they did in the first two games. They chased them off of every screen. I think that kind of surprised them. I think the Cavs just played a better game and had a better game plan going into the game. I think it’s as simple as that. The Golden State Warriors, to win 73 games, there’s never a lack of effort in that team.”