Dub Nation HQ Comments of Week, plus Game Thread: Dubs visit Wizards
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WHO: Golden State Warriors (48-26) at Washington Wizards (31-42)
WHEN: Sunday, March 27th, 2022 // 3:00pm Pacific
I heard folks wanted to bench him???
The Sword Of The Morning (6 ♡):
I don't think the criticisms against Klay's play this year have been unfair considering he's been bad for most of the year. Obviously he is capable of having incredible games where he makes every shot but that is not a long-term recipe for success. He's coming off multiple devastating injuries and 2.5 years off and yet he's taking on a higher (and unfamiliar!) load than ever.
He's putting up 28.7 FGAs per 100 possession. His career average is 23.9 and his highest in a single season is 25.8. Additionally, while I don't have exact numbers on how many of those are self-generated (I don't know where to find that), I think most of us who watch regularly can see there has been a substantial increase in self-generated shots (which Klay was never good at). He's putting up 13.9 2PAs per 100 and making them at a 46.6% clip. That's really bad. For context, Jordan Poole (his direct competition) is at 9.9 2PAs per 100 and makes them at 56.3%. Klay's 3s are actually super valuable still (putting up an insane volume at 37-38% is great), but his 2pt FGs are completely derailing his efficiency.
The issue is that he can immediately become a really valuable offensive player provided he makes some changes in his shot-selection. He needs to be more willing to play within the offense, pass the ball a bit more (he's actually showcasing better vision this year than he's ever shown) and take out most of the mid-range and long 2s from his shot diet. This is something that prime Klay would've benefited from too, but with this version of Klay the difference is particularly harrowing.
About the he should be benched discourse, I don't think it matters really. There's no way he doesn't play significant minutes for us (from the start or the bench) so it's basically a moot point imo. However, he needs to change his approach for the betterment of the team. The good thing is that it is fixable. The bad thing is that I don't think the core guys (Steph, Draymond, Kerr) are trying to get Klay to change up his shot-selection (and I doubt Klay will do it himself considering his level of confidence).
And of course, he's a problem defensively. Pairing him with Steph or Poole at all times gives the defense 2 negative defenders at all times (particularly talking about Poole cos Steph's a decent defender). His offense needs to make up for his defense, and it isn't right now. Benching him is fair game, especially in the playoffs because Poole is quite simply the better player right now. The more interesting topic is probably Klay or Wiggins (because I think Poole starts in the postseason regardless with the way he is playing), which I don't really have strong opinions about right now.
DFiB (6 ♡):
In the 6 games since the Milwaukee game, he’s 41.7% from 3 and 50% from inside the arc. Had two great games, two meh games, and two bad games. All this is in line with his career shooting/scoring. So maybe the signs are starting to show up?
Warriors live up to the motto “Always close enough to hurt”
belilaugh (15 ♡):
“Draymond’s performance will improve dramatically as he gets his legs underneath him here the next couple weeks. I’m not worried about that."
We saw it last season as he recovered from COVID too, I remember people were calling him washed up in the beginning of that season too. He hasn't looked like himself yet since coming back and Klay's had a rough go of it as well. But I'm betting on Draymond and Klay to figure it out. 5 straight trips to the Finals, never had a series without a road playoff win, 24 straight wins to start the season, 73-9. You can't accomplish these things without being legendary competitors and I trust them to figure it out if their bodies allow for it.
Not a fan of the tenor of some of the conversation surrounding the mentalities of Dray or Klay recently, feel like they've earned a lot more patience from (some of) the fanbase than they are getting. But whatever, as long as it's basketball-related then it's fair game regardless of how I feel about it.
fzwinter (11 ♡):
JP3 career high 10 assists tonight!
Klay up to 37.5% from three on the year.
Warriors at Hawks - could Iguodala finally return?!
tempprofile (12 ♡):
Kerr's an automatic for the Hall of Fame no matter what. 5 rings as a player, and 3 as a coach plus a couple of Western Conference championships? Who else even comes close in the modern era?
Truckeeman (12 ♡):
In George Leonard's fine book, "Mastery," Leonard describes the process of physical skill improvement as "reaching a plateau", followed by an attempt to integrate new skills, leading to a drop-off in performance, followed by a significant improvement in performance leading to another plateau. Repeat.
Klay is in the drop-off phase - integrating penetration and dribbling into his catch and shoot repertoire. By the times playoffs arrive, one of two things will have happened. Klay will have fully integrated the new skills and the mental game that accompanies it, making him a more efficient overall player; or he will be encouraged to return to catch-and-shoot Klay, also making him more efficient. In either case, fans will be happy, but if the first scenario plays out, we will be happier.
Defensively, Klay just needs game time. We've seen many instances of Klay's skill since his return - staying in front or chasing and blocking shots. This is more a case of him reacquiring dormant skills and adjusting to game speed. He'll be ready by the playoffs.
Trogdor (11 ♡):
The most surprising thing about this article is that Iguodala has *only* missed the last 19 games. It feels like much, much more.
Abaddon (9 ♡):
It's 27 games, with one game (where he played only 5:46) in the middle.
SWIFFER MODE ACTIVATED IN SOUTH BEACH.
I love this boy so much!
Sleepy Freud (16 ♡):
The final three years of Curry’s contract will be with four young studs and a deep bench either way. How exactly does trading Dray, Klay, and Wiggs for younger players and picks make the bench deeper?
Sleepy Freud (13 ♡):
That’s a package you offer for superstar in his prime (say, Giannis), not for a perpetually banged-up 32 year old second-tier star like Paul George.
George is a similar caliber of player to Jimmy Butler and Klay — similar age and bloated contract, and declining in similar fashion. For an aging team with a core of declining 30-something guys, that may be one of the worst trade proposals I’ve heard in a while.
I’ll take either of Poole or Wiggins *straight up* over George. Poole’s not even a question — he’s 22 years old and irreplaceable on this team as built. And while Wiggs is nominally a worse player than PG, he’s also five years younger, faster, more versatile defensively, way more durable, and a much better fit on our team. And throwing Wiseman in any deal right now is the epitome of selling low.
Just … no?
Klon (11 ♡):
In the interest of fairness, it's not disrespect for a Warriors fan to say they don't fear the Suns. The Warriors are the only team in the league to have a winning record against them including a major win on Christmas.
The Suns are great, no doubt about that, and must be seen as the favourites for the title. Do Warriors fans need to respect the Suns? Heck yeah. Do Warriors fans need to fear the Suns? No.
Jordan Poole goes for 30 points and 9 assists; Looney pulls 15 boards
Eric Apricot (18 ♡):
I just wanted to tell you all that I love you
DubPHan (17 ♡):
Love JK in the post-game saying Dray going off on everyone in the locker room after Orlando was "needed" and "healthy". That kid's attitude is great.
belilaugh (16 ♡):
> The Warriors have run 250 pick-and-roll possessions with Poole as the ballhandler this season, per NBA.com. They’ve scored 252 points on them. That output, 1.01 points per possession, is 12th best in the league, just behind Durant, Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Tyrese Maxey and just ahead of Devin Booker and Chris Paul.
From Slater's Athletic article.
Sleepy Freud (15 ♡):
At age 19-20: Kuminga, Moody, Wiseman, Poole.
Poole's a great example of why we need to be patient with the others.
Phood Fight (15 ♡):
It feels like the Warriors have been sucking for months, and here they are sitting with the 3rd best record in the league. WTF
THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO WIN RIGHT NOW FOLKS!
GlueAndBold (6 ♡):
- Poole continues his 20 pt streak (CHECK)
- Klay is in the flow, regardless of his stat line (FAIL)
- Wiggs stays aggressive, hits FT (CHECKFAIL- aggressive yes, but not successful, and 1 of 2 on FT)
- GP2 looks like GP2 (INCONCLUSIVE- 5 minutes without the usual impact but didn't look bad)
- Draymond plays the whole game (CHECK)
Conclusion: they're still a bit discombobulated, but almost won. They're gonna surprise us with a victory one of these days, and hopefully that leads to them coming together in time for the return of Threesus.
belilaugh (6 ♡):
The thing that worries me about all these 3 point shooting fouls from Klay is that we were seeing the same thing from Livingston in his final year. At the time it felt like an indication that Livingston was just cooked physically.
But I am going to wait until next season and see.
Iguodala’s Hands (5 ♡):
Been watching Klay’s legs and feet since his return, and it’s concerning.
We’ve all noticed those one-foot fadeaway midrange shots. He’s favoring his left (noninjured) leg by taking these questionable shots, avoiding departures using the right leg, and avoiding abrupt stops using both legs. He’s frequently missing those one-foot fadeaway shots because they’re very difficult shots, even for players in peak physical form.
Klay is making more of his set shots, with shoulders squared and both feet planted. Classic Klay shot mechanics EXCEPT he continually lands on the left leg after taking the shot. He doesn’t want to land on both legs, to reduce impact and avoid injury on his right leg. It’s likely that he’s not getting equal strength from both legs, even with these set shots.
Basically, Klay is playing and shooting with one leg these days. It’s amazing that he’s performing at his current level, given these circumstances.
You just imagined that the Warriors blew a big 4th quarter lead in Orlando with a long sustained series of bonehead plays
Nadav (8 ♡):
Glass half full take for ya.
Klay is frustrating to watch right now, but it actually makes sense that he’s making mental mistakes after all that time off. So you can think of each one as another small step towards game 6 Klay.
💙 💛 🌈🦄🧚♂️💛 💙
Five Alarm Freddy (8 ♡):
This is a gut punch. But man, the Klay slander is ridiculous.
jzalvarado (7 ♡):
I’ll still take a healthy Steph and Dray against any team in the league right now come playoff time.
The Sword Of The Morning (6 ♡):
First NBA game I've seen in a month. Did not pick the greatest game, did I?
I've got a couple of general observations:
1. Apparently, my guy JP's been on a tear. I'm old enough to remember when people were saying that DLee and GP2 were better than him. He's our 3rd best player, right?
2. Speaking of guys like GP2, Bjelica, Wiggins (all-star starter lol), I feel that their downturn has a lot to do with the fact that they're role-players who thrive in pretty optimized roles. When we had Steph, Draymond (and to a lesser extent Andre), we could have these guys perform very specific duties which they did well. Now without one of Steph/Draymond, they're needing to perform roles they're not good at (for example, increased shot creation for Wiggins and he's reverted to Minnesota Wiggins. As I said earlier in the season, I don't think he's improved that much, he's just playing in a highly optimized setting).
3. Somewhat related to #2, we're a very fragile team. A well-built deep team like the Suns or the Grizzlies can withstand injuries to any player and still be really good. When Draymond goes down, we're a 45 win team. When Steph goes down, we're a 20-25 or maybe 30 win team. In a normal regular season, most stars miss about 10 games (and Steph and Draymond have been missing more than that in the past few years which I would guess is to be expected due to increasing age). We need to find ways to build in some measure of anti-fragility (is that the right term? I don't know).
4. Very related to #3, I think Steve Kerr's always been shown up to be an overrated offensive coach (he's obviously one of the best there is defensively). I saw a stat that ever since he took over, he's something like 44-85 in non-Steph games. Even taking out the 19-20 season, it's something like 30-40 (not exact numbers as I saw the tweet so I'm quoting from memory here). This includes teams where he's had Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. Additionally, offensively he's never gotten a league average offensive rating in non-Steph minutes. That's insane considering he had KD and Klay on the team at one time. Everybody seems to adore the system, but if the system doesn't work if one of the 2-3 best offensive players of all time is missing, is the system really that great? I had hoped the Atkinson hire would improve this, but that does not seem to be the case from the eye test.
5. About Klay, he needs to stop playing like he's Kobe. Stop chucking off-balance fadeaways. His efficiency has always been slightly less that what you would expect from a player of his calibre (being a Splash Brother and all), but it's at a particularly frigid 52.7% TS this year. He needs to simplify his game substantially (Draymond being injured obviously didn't help). I think not making the #75 list really got into his head, even though he's definitely behind Draymond and maybe even behind Iguodala on that metric on his own team. Go back to being Klay Thompson and there's still a really valuable player in there.
6. Draymond looked worse defensively than I've ever seen him basically. He's coming off a serious injury so it's understandable, but it was pretty uncharacteristic.
7. Chris Chiozza is not an NBA level player. What happened to the Spoon guy? When did Dowtin leave for the Magic?
8. To end on a positive note, I thought JK looked really good this game (at least offensively). Him and Poole being our 2 best players is encouraging for the future (as encouraging as a loss to a tanking team can be I suppose).
9. Bonus: Can we give Steph a retroactive MVP now for this season?
Sleepy Freud (6 ♡):
As bleak as it looks now, **three games ago** Dray and most of Dub Nation were talking championship; and it seemed like a pretty reasonable premise. A stretch of three bad games, all played without Steph, doesn’t suddenly make them a first round exit.
I mean, a first round exit could happen, but it could also happen to any team.
The Dubs remain in the third seed...for now.
Phood Fight (14 ♡):
Someone once wrote: "Draymond may pee in your canteen once in a while, but the best thing to do is take a deep breath and go rinse out your canteen. Because when the grenade lands in your fox hole, he's the guy you want on your team." Well, I am humbly rinsing out my canteen today. I'm gonna eat a box of Tic-Tacs and be thankful that come playoff time, Dray is wearing our Uniform.
In the meantime, the wife will have to settle for a peck on the cheek until I get that taste out of my mouth.
TwoRingTest (12 ♡):
For all the talk about refs, and Wiggins not blocking out, and Draymond running his mouth, it sure would be a lot easier to win games if we didn't spot the other team 10+ points at the beginning of the first quarter.
The consistency of the Warriors only getting serious after they are behind is inexplicable to me (and does not bode well for the playoffs).
DFiB (11 ♡):
I hate all the people trying to dunk on Wiggins for not “boxing out” an opponent from the three point line. Wiggins didn’t have inside position to begin with, Murray can take his own route. Wiggins could try to box Murray out of the play, but that’s not easy from so far away, and attempting to do so would definitely take himself out of the play.
It was a bad ending to a bad game.