Todays NBA is looking to go smaller and more skilled on offense, while also maintaining the size and athleticism to be quick, yet deterrent on defense.
That can be a tough needle to thread when finding role players, especially on the wing. Go too far in one direction, and you limit yourself on offense, a la Andre Roberson or Solomon Hill. Go too far in the other, and you get someone like Allen Crabbe. Those players are valuable and useful, but they can often be schemed against, especially over the course of a seven-game playoff series.
Even the shots the Warriors missed in those circumstances like the following 3-pointer from Curry were off wide open opportunities stemming from the gravity of either Durant or Curry.
There really isn’t anything teams can do to slow Curry and Durant pick-and-rolls down unless they have two wing defenders think James and someone like Paul George who can keep up with both Curry and Durant in isolation. The only time the Cavaliers had success defending those pick-and-rolls in the NBA Finals was when Curry and Durant were surrounded by non-shooters such as Livingston, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia because it allowed them to help off them and pack the paint. When they were surrounded with Thompson, Iguodala and Draymond Green, though, Curry and Durant had all the room they needed to pick the Cavaliers apart.
The Cavaliers certainly couldn’t stop it in the 2017 NBA Finals, and we’ll now have to wait another year to see if anyone else has an answer. Assuming there is one, of course.