These past few games have been a clumsy series of events for the warriors of the golden state.
To set the record straight, injuries and health issues have been the cause of his recent struggles. Steph Curry may not see court time until after the schedule shift. Andrew Wiggins is about to return from an adductor strain, but his presence has been sorely missed. No matter what you think of Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green, they are still living bodies that provide a certain level of competition in the NBA.
Klay Thompson’s struggles have been well documented, while Jordan Poole’s performances wax and wane. Draymond Green can only do so much as someone who primarily sets the table rather than someone who actively participates in his goods.
Somewhere along the way, the process that became the formula behind winning a championship was lost. Crunching numbers and worrying about the extra dollars seems to be important to the management and ownership of the organization. They are more than entitled to manage their finances and results in the way they see fit, but that doesn’t mean the consequences of such sacrifices won’t be felt.
There was always a risk that the Warriors would fall apart in a scenario where Curry sees a significant amount of time lost. He is the lifeblood of the team in more ways than one, a larger-than-life figure who has come to define a team’s rise, one that was once unlucky for what seemed like perpetuity.
Without Curry, everything seems listless, without joy or energy and, frankly, meaningless. No method of analysis (eyesight test, advanced statistics, etc.) can provide even a small sliver of hope.
Offensive teams lose their juice, which means the Warriors have to work harder to generate efficient shots, that is, if possessions haven’t already turned into late-breaking self-created contests.
Possession up front resulted in points, but not without an initial fight. Poole: The only offensive threat considered dangerous by the Brooklyn networks – is being heavily watched. There are only five seconds left on the shot clock until the Warriors find an exploit in the Nets’ turnaround scheme: a split-screen slip by Green.
The numbers speak for themselves. The Warriors have outscored their opponents by 7.0 points per 100 possessions during Curry’s 894 minutes on the court this season. Without him, they have been outscored by 12.1 points per 100 possessions. such a whopping Difference of 19.1 points per 100 possessions it literally makes the difference between the best point differential in the league and the worst.
A 30-7-7 stat line, fueled by a ridiculous 59/43/92 (2P/3P/FT) shot split, is impossible to replace, let alone replicate. His 66.8% shooting, while taking nearly 12 3-pointers per game, is an unprecedented marriage of scoring volume and scoring efficiency. In terms of plus-minus estimate, a widely accepted all-in-one metric that provides a near-precise measure of one’s impact, Curry’s plus-7.7 EPM He is second only to Nikola Jokić (plus-7.9).
In the four games Curry has missed after suffering a left shoulder subluxation, the Warriors have put up the following numbers:
- Offensive rating of 110.0 (23rd in period)
- 124.8 defensive rating (30th)
- Net valuation of minus 14.8 (30º)
For a group that needs its best player on the court for at least 30 minutes or more per game, the numbers above are a sobering reminder that the Warriors’ success — past, present, and in the near future — depends on Curry’s availability. . As such, the only timeline the Warriors will have to worry about is one that places Curry as their top priority.
Which brings us to the current two timeline plan and how difficult that has turned out to be.
James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins occupy a third of the Warriors’ roster space, but each of them has varying levels of NBA readiness.
Kuminga’s scalability as a wing defender, coupled with his natural athleticism and pop, has provided him with experience and rotation minutes. Moody has seen the part of him being rotated in and out of the rosters, but he seems ready to contribute whenever he gets the chance.
Baldwin Jr. and Rollins are rookies; as such, they are lower in the pecking order and apparently not prepared to see significant minutes as mainstays of the NBA level.
Wiseman has been one hell of a roller coaster. Injuries and limited college play have prevented him from making reps and court time. The G League representatives have helped him see the time against the corps, but those haven’t been against NBA-caliber competition.
Another sobering reminder came on this back-to-back trip to New York against the knicks and the Nets: The Warriors desperately need NBA-level collaborators across the board; by having a significant portion of their roster occupied by players who may be years away from being NBA-level contributors (some of them years away from being years away), they could be mortgaging the present for a future that may never come.
The chances of that future manifesting may be slim, but the flashes were there against the Nets. It’s hard to mask the stench of a major defeat with any kind of perfume, but if there was ever anything positive to take away from the game, it’s the promise of what their youth could be like, if they can become consistently competent.
Wiseman finished with 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting. While the Warriors were still outscored by 12 points during his minutes, he showed what a mobile big man could be. One thing I liked about his performance is how he was able to dominate the smaller defenders on the backline switches and seals, which took advantage of the Nets’ smaller lineups and propensity to switch ball screens. .
Aggression and purpose, or the lack thereof, have been two of Wiseman’s biggest criticisms, so it’s nice to see him display the kind of pride an NBA big man should have, even if the process behind it it was not perfect by any means. .
Moody is always willing to contribute. He finished with 17 points on 11 shots, including a 3-of-5 clip from beyond the arc. He is currently 29-for-72 on 3-pointers for the season: 40.3%. While that translates to low-volume performance in terms per game (2.6 3s), it’s enough to suggest that Moody has potential as a 3-D wing specialist.
Being a pinpoint threat with occasional moves to shoot is critical whenever building an advantage. Moody will be counted on to undo those advantages and ensure that such efforts are not wasted.
The other young piece to shine against the Nets, albeit in front of a huge deficit and during garbage time, was Patrick Baldwin Jr., who finished with 17 points on 10 shots, including a 5-of-8 clip on 3-pointers.
It’s hard to pass up Baldwin Jr’s combination of size, height, and sweet shooting. Such traits make his skill set top-notch, with potential for matchup advantages that could put pressure on opposing defenses in all sorts of ways.
It remains to be seen how he’ll fare defensively against NBA-level competition — he’s seen too few valuable minutes in the NBA to properly gauge his staying power on that side, but if he could become a competent defender at his position, there could be no doubt about his ability to contribute in the future, whether as a member of the Warriors or on another team.
Despite these glimpses, they still aren’t enough to cover up what has been a tumultuous turn of events for the roster. The Warriors still have the best five-man lineup in the league: Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green and Kevon Looney are outscoring opponents by 23 points per 100 possessions — Best of 12 five-man rosters with at least 195 minutes played.
Every lineup except the starters has been in big trouble: collectively outscored by nearly 4.0 points per 100 possessions.
That speaks to the Warriors’ damaged depth compared to last season, with a veteran bench team that hasn’t been as strong and complementary and a youth plan gone awry. With the trade season in full swing (at least in theory) and a trade deadline looming, the Warriors have a decision to make.
Do they continue to plan for a future without a generational talent and possibly a top 10 all-time basketball player? Or do they stake the future in trade discussions to see if a rebuilding or struggling team trades NBA-level contributing veterans for a couple of reset buttons?
With Curry and the kind of top-tier support team he has right now, the latter option seems like the most logical choice.