NBA

Warriors slam Nets as they face questions about plans for two timelines

Warriors slam Nets as they face questions about plans for two timelines

These last few games have been a series of awkward events for the Golden State Warriors.

To make things clear, injuries and health woes have been the cause of his recent struggles. Steph Curry may not see time on the floor until after the calendar turns. Andrew Wiggins is close to returning 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 some level of NBA competition.

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 mainly sets the table instead of someone who actively participates in their products.

Somewhere along the way, the process that became the formula for winning a championship was lost. They seem to be important to the front office and ownership of the organization, making numbers and worrying about the extra dollars. They have more than the right to manage their finances and their bottom line in the best way they see fit, but that doesn’t mean the consequences of those sacrifices won’t be felt.

There was always the risk that the Warriors would crumble in a scenario where Curry sees a significant amount of missed time. He is the soul of the team in more ways than one, a larger-than-life figure who has come to define the rise of a team that was once lucky for what seemed like forever.

Without Curry, everything seems dull, devoid of joy and energy and, frankly, meaningless. No method of analysis (the eye test, advanced statistics, etc.) can provide even a small part of a silver lining.

Offensive sets lose their juice, which means the Warriors have to work extra hard to generate efficient shots, that is, if possessions haven’t already turned into late-clock self-creation contests.

The previous possession resulted in points, but not without an early fight. Poole: The only offensive threat considered dangerous by the Brooklyn Nets – is well guarded. With just five seconds left on the shot clock, the Warriors find an exploit in the Nets’ switch-everything scheme: a slide off Green’s split screen.

The figures speak for themselves. The Warriors have outscored opponents by 7.0 points per 100 possessions during Curry’s 894 minutes on the floor this season. Without him, they’ve been outscored by 12.1 points per 100 possessions. What a freak 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 shooting split (2P/3P/FT), is impossible to replace, let alone replicate. His 66.8% TS, while taking nearly 12 threes per game, is an unprecedented marriage of scoring volume and scoring efficiency. In terms of estimated plus-minus, a widely accepted all-in-one metric that provides a near-precise measure of the impact of one, Curry’s plus-7.7 EPM he is only surpassed by Nikola Jokić (plus-7.9).

In the four games Curry has missed with a sprained left shoulder, the Warriors have put up the following numbers:

  • 110.0 Offensive Rating (23rd in period)
  • 124.8 defensive rating (30th)
  • Minus-14.8 net rating (30th)

For a group that needs its best player on the court for at least 30 more minutes per game, the above numbers are a stark reminder that the Warriors’ success (past, present and near future) relies on availability of Curry. . As such, the only timeline the Warriors will ever have to worry about is one that places Curry as their top priority.

Which brings us to the current plan of two timelines and how difficult it has turned out to be.

James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins take up a third of the Warriors’ roster space, but each has a different level of NBA readiness.

Kuminga’s scalability as a fullback, along with his natural athleticism and pop, has given him experience and rotation minutes. Moody has seen his share of being rotated in and out of lineups, but looks ready to contribute whenever given the opportunity.

Baldwin Jr. and Rollins are rookies, as such, they’re further down the pecking order and seemingly not ready to see significant minutes as mainstays at the NBA level.

Wiseman has been a roller coaster ride. Injuries and limited college play have held him back from reps and floor time. The G League reps have helped him see time against bodies, but they haven’t been against NBA-caliber competition.

Another overwhelming reminder came on this trip back to New York against him knicks and the Nets: The Warriors are in dire need of NBA-level contributors at every level; to have a significant portion of their roster filled with players who may be years away from being contributors at the NBA level (some of them years away from be years away), they could be mortgaging the present for a future that may never arrive.

The chances of that future showing may be slim, but the flashes were there against the Nets. It’s hard to mask the stench of a blowout defeat with any kind of perfume, but if there was ever any positive to take from the game, it’s the promise of what their youth could be, if they manage to be consistently competent.

Wiseman finished with 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting. Although the Warriors were still outscored by 12 points during his minutes, he showed what he could become as a mobile big man. One thing he liked about his performance is how well he was able to beat smaller defenders on backline switches and seals, which took advantage of the Nets’ smaller lineups and propensity to switch ball screens.

Aggressiveness and purpose, or lack thereof, have been two of Wiseman’s biggest criticisms, so it’s nice to see him show the kind of pride an NBA big man should have, even if the process behind it wasn’t perfect by any means. .

Moody is always ready to contribute. He finished with 17 points on 11 shooting, including a 3-for-5 clip from beyond the arc. He is currently 29-for-72 on threes for the season, 40.3%. While that translates to a low-volume output in per-game terms (2.6 threes), it’s enough to think Moody has potential as a 3-and-D specialist.

Being a local threat with occasional cuts that trigger movement is paramount whenever building an advantage. Moody will be counted on to end these advantages and ensure that these efforts are not in vain.

The other young piece who shined against the Nets, albeit in a big deficit and in garbage time, was Patrick Baldwin Jr., who finished with 17 points on 10 shooting, including a 5-for-8 clip in three

It’s hard to overlook Baldwin Jr.’s combination of size, height and sweet shooting stroke. These traits make his ability a premium, with the potential for matchup advantages that could pressure 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 in that regard), but if he could develop into a defender competent at his position, there could be no doubt about his ability to contribute in the future, either as a member of the Warriors or on another team.

Despite these flashes, they still aren’t enough to cover what has been a tumultuous turn of events on 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 among 12 five-man lineups with at least 195 minutes.

All lineups except the starters have struggled mightily — 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 crew that hasn’t been as robust and complementary and a youth scheme that’s gone awry. With the trade season underway (at least in theory) and a trade deadline looming, the Warriors have an option to decide.

Do they continue to plan for a future without generational talent and arguably one of the top 10 basketball players of all time? Or do they hang the future on trade discussions to see if a rebuilding or struggling team trades veteran NBA-level contributors for a pair of reset buttons?

With Curry and the kind of high-end support crew he has right now, the latter option seems like the most logical choice.



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