Warriors coach whom Mike Brown credits for game-sealing stop vs. Grizzlies

It all came down to one play, and one Warriors assistant coach is to thank for identifying it.

In the final three seconds of Golden State’s 117-116 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals at FedExForum, Grizzlies superstar Ja Morantlies attempted one final layup for a dramatic buzzer beater as time expired.

On the court, both Klay Thompson and Gary Payton II deserve credit for forcing Morant into a tough shot. On the sideline, though, it was one assistant coach who identified what Memphis was going to do before the play had been drawn up.

Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown joined KNBR 680’s “Murph & Mac” show on Monday, and heaped praise on Jacob Rubin, a first-year player development coach for Golden State.

“A lot of people know that I run the defense and I’ve had a great time doing that year, but throughout the course of the playoffs especially, I’ve had two young guys helping a ton. The first one is Chris DeMarco , one of our assistant coaches,” Brown said. “He’s basically put all of the clips together and come up with the meat of each opponent that we’re about to play in each of these first two rounds. And then from there, I’ll watch his clips, I’ll watch my clips and I’ll come up with a game plan that we present to the coaches.

“The second guy that helps out is even younger than Chris. His name is Jacob Rubin. So during that time out, Jacob — he scared the heck out of me, too, because the timeout happens and next thing I know he sits the bench. I feel this little dude pushing on my back and I’m like, what? I turn around, it’s him. he starts showing me all these god damn plays — Can I say that on the radio? … So I said ‘take one, pick one.’ He picks one. I said, ‘Get in the huddle and you tell them exactly what’s going to happen.’ So he picks up the iPad, picks the right fricking play, goes in the huddle, tells them what’s going to happen.”

And what happens next? The biggest defensive stop of the game, a combined effort from Klay Thompson and Gary Payton II.

“They asked me …How do you want to defend this? Okay, this is how we’re going to defend it,” Brown added. “We go out there. Our guys know exactly what’s coming because Jacob Rubin picked the right play. And because of that, and Ja … obviously he’s a great player. He still got a great shot off. Klay was in position to help where he might not have been if Rubin wouldn’t have picked out the play. And we get part of it’s luck, but part of it is Jacob picked out the right play. So we kind of knew it was coming, and he ended up missing the layup because of a little bit of added pressure that Klay did.”

Morant, of course, holds himself accountable for the missed layup.

Thompson was visibly fired up after the final buzzer, and for good reason. The Warriors held on to secure the one-point victory after he uncharacteristically missed two big free throws before that final play.

Lock-down defense from Thompson, Payton and even Steph Curry down the stretch proved to be a big factor in securing the Game 1 victory over a tenacious Grizzlies team. Oh, and some exceptional play-calling from one of the Warriors’ brightest young minds.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Leave a Comment