Golden State Warriors’ NBA Playoff Option in Game 6 against Oklahoma City: using Option Solving?

We were going to focus on another business issue, but the current moment in the NBA 2015-16 playoffs provided an interesting dilemma for GSW’s coach, Steve Kerr, in such a precarious must-win situation.  Thinking through what I would do, if I were in his shoes, I would expose the team to an option solving exercise; on the basis that, the more they are part of the key playoff decisions, the more they are likely to fight for making those decisions become a reality.

Once I’ve helped Kerr understand the principles of the option solving approach, he can then apply his rational expertise to build an appropriate question and considerations, to help get the team on a roll when the time comes. He should not share it with his players until the last reasonable moment, to avoid the possibility that any outcome decision could leak out. His team question could look like this: “What is GSW’s best moment to make a major push against Oklahoma City in Game 6: considering 1) already down 3 games to 2, so face elimination, 2) won’t have home-court advantage, 3) the Warriors are probably exhausted from their record regular season run, and 4) they will need to keep the game score close?” Note how we encouraged him to restrict his considerations to four, despite there being others, in order not to make the team’s question overly complex.

With his question in place, we now set about creating appropriate likely yin and yang “bookends” to form a framework for the team’s possible viable options. These could be as follows: “Accept what will be will be” and “Bring in a whole new team with fresh legs.” Since these are both untenable for team morale, despite being valid, you can see from our Latest Worked Example why he or his team are unlikely to seriously consider these two bookends. Even so, such improbable options would act as valuable prompts for his team’s intuitive minds, when members contemplate their final “pictogram”: to elicit an optimum choice.

You will see where I’ve created a minimum of five options, in order to glean the minimum number of helpful options. I’ve introduced a sixth option for allowing the team to inject its proposal(s); which would help pull Kerr’s players in their decision process. You can see these six alternatives in our Latest Example – click on that tab – where one is: “Option E: Combination of periods.”

I will now do my best to pass along this scenario to Steve Kerr, although I should probably do my own option solving exercise to figure out the best way to do that considering how difficult it is likely to reach him. If he latches onto it, I would encourage him to pursue as much emotional distancing time as is possible for his team member’s to utilize their intuitive minds and tap into their playoff experiences and relate them to these options. So, which option would you choose if you were in the GSW team’s position?

If nothing else, we will see after the game whether the whole franchise made the right plays and choices.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “What’s our best option if our current proposal is turned down?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through


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