129 Comments

Wiggins needs a clear line of sight, an open lane, for his rim runs. If traffic, he's always been happy to step back. But Kuminga will drive on the shoulder to get around and through traffic. His ability to attack with force and efficiency in those tight windows is good now. What will it look like in a couple years?

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Wise and Kuminga are gonna be an impenetrable front court on defense and and a punishing offense when the keys are ultimately handed to them

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Whoa just noticed the edit button?! Nice, NOW GIVE US GIFS!!!

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JJ describing his iconic Steph moment (Blazers "I'm back")

https://youtu.be/z1I-lXgxRts?t=588

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Dec 17, 2021Liked by punk basketball

Man I just saw that the 76ers got 30 pieced after they beat the Warriors and about to lose their third straight. I guess we’re back to being everyone’s Championship game.

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And that's with Durant scoring 34 after partying 1/2 the night and Harden and Irving missing in action. Maybe it isn't the way he drew it up, but the Nets are definitely Kevin Durant's team.

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Ayup

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

Fun E1P. So much promise with young Jedi Kuminga. Will he continue his path towards the light or be seduced by the dark (3 point line) side?

Oh and a request - after you break down a play will you run it once at full speed all the way through? Thx!

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He shall learn to harness both the light and dark side, uniting the force.

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Hmmmm, not to be too nit picky on Star Wars lore, but I don’t think that exists. However, if we’re talking Taoism? It works.

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I guess you've never heard of the Gray Jedi?

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Nope. It looks like animated Star Wars stuff? which I haven’t watched much of… sounds interesting though.

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It is a good request, but the NBA sends a copyright claim when I run plays through. Sorry.

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Got it. Silly NBA.

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So much fun. Interesting to see Kuminga with seemingly gentle touches around the rim, suggests he's not just going tunnel-vision agro (which would be exciting but hard to rein in)

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Klay not coming back next week per Shams and Anthonyslater. No earlier than December 28. Which sucks cause I’m going to have to miss his debut most likely

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They really really got burned that 2018-19 season with Cousins and Durant and are really really erring on the side of caution which is why i haven’t been worried about setbacks especially with Wiseman

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I think they listen to the doctors, and they listened to doctors for cousins and Durant situations too

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Yes… the player also has to say they are ready

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I think he’s not as physically ready as he wants to be. He’s ready to be on court and make shots, but not ready to be KLAY THOMPSON WORLD DESTROYER.

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Dec 16, 2021·edited Dec 16, 2021Liked by punk basketball

Reply to this comment if you think bobbita sucks.

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HB isn’t even the second best player on the Dumpster fire Kings.

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

Test….. woah.

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I’m waiting for bobbitas response…

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Man, all that work I put into being infallible down the drain.

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Woohoo! (Testing 1 2 3)

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It works!

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author

BRING US GIFS and LINKS NOW PLEASE SUBSTACK!!!!!

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[Nicholson nodding gif]

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(Table flipped in anger gif)

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Dec 16, 2021·edited Dec 16, 2021

Nah. I like to use my IPhone. I want nothing to delay any performance. What I do want is to be able to find receipts errr comments under a posters Profile

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

Ideally, the desktop site allows gifs and the mobile defaults to having to manually open them, but yeah, that costs time and money to develop I dont expect Substack to want to spend

Edit: Oh hey, edits!

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Wait what? HOLY

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Ditto except for IPhone part. Android all the way!!

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Today's Covid protocol reports in a nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

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Friday is booster day apparently. About 60% of players have gotten the booster (as of yesterday).

https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-nba-sports-business-health-3754dab1bdc02f6dfedef6507114721e

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Knicks players going into covid protocol. Not 1 player for the warriors has had this happen this season. It’s going come eventually

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Russ and Bradley too. Lakers are going to sign Isaiah Thomas to a 10 day (I'm guessing).

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Dec 16, 2021·edited Dec 16, 2021Liked by punk basketball

Kerr said every "eligible" player got a booster (and Draymond explicitly confirmed he got a booster).

My guess is Kerr is not including Wiggins (or Kuminga) as eligible, although what I've read is that you are eligible two months after the vaccine dose so that might be a cute way to sidestep the question. I don't think we've heard the last of the Wiggins vaccination saga though.

EDIT: A reporter should definitely ask Wiggins whether he intends to get the booster. He'll probably say he wants to keep that private but you never know.

EDIT2: Finally, an edit button.

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

"you are eligible two months after the vaccine dose" That's specifically with J&J, right? With Moderna, I read it was 6 months after, and that's also what was told when I got my booster today. And thanks for the edit feature, I needed it for this!

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Dec 16, 2021·edited Dec 16, 2021

What, I can edit this?

EDIT: WOW!!!!

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

I was reading and saw the that it was edited. Thought “Aww that’s cute..”

EDIT: Ha ha! This is fun!

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deletedDec 16, 2021Liked by punk basketball
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Zowie!! Yowsa!! Hey - I really can now!!

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

Wait no more auto correct misspelling humor (sigh), I guess I’ll have to start making actual basketball comments

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No more shots turning to shits??? End of an era…

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I dunno, when Kuminga shoots from distance, that's often still a shot turning to shit. Hopefully he will end that era soon.

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You presumably didn’t get J&J…

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So today’s Kerr offense revolves around Steph. What will the offense look like in 4 years? Im imagining it will revolve around Kuminga and Wiseman. Im imagining a starting lineup of Steph, Poole, Moody, Kuminga, Wiseman, with Steph and Klay playing 15/20 min/game, and the other 4 starters playing 35 min/game. Fill in with Dray, Loon, draftees, and whomever else is still around of the Lee/JTA crowd.

It’ll be a different game but exciting nonetheless.

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Projecting 4 years out in the NBA is basically impossible. 4 years ago Nick Young was on the Warriors.

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I still think chuckin' Nick Young coming from the Lakers to the Warriors was a Lakers plot to destroy us. Hey it's more likely than a Jewish space laser. 😉

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Steph gonna be a Warrior

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He was never part of their long term plans like the guys Being is talking about

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Andrew Bynum was part of the Laker long term plans in 2009, by 2013 he was basically out of the league.

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Sure, any of the current Warriors could be out of the league.

You don’t think Lacob and Myers go through (at least) four-year scenario exercises like this?

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They can plan all they want but life happens.

Look at the Nuggets at the end of March and look at them now, and that's not even a year ago.

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

For further context, 4 years ago the Warriors still had KD, the Rockets had Harden and Paul and were the 2nd best team in the West, the Raptors had Kawhi and were one of the best teams in the East, OKC had Westbrook and Paul George, the Cavs, Knicks and the Suns were the worst teams in the league with their only decent prospects being Sexton/nobody/Booker and loads of teams wanted to tank for Zion.

The only teams that have remained in the same position are those teams that had their franchise cornerstone remain in his prime for the duration of the time period (and even then, there are cases like Harden where that rule breaks) - Steph and the Warriors, Jokic/Nuggets, Dame/Blazers, Giannis/Bucks etc. If we're in a similar position in 4 years, it'll almost assuredly be because Steph/Dray/Klay aged well, in particular Steph. The clean handover into the future strategy never happens basically. The only times I can think about is with the Lakers and Magic and with Kawhi and the Spurs, and that happened because one of the team's prospects became a superstar so the franchise cornerstone became someone else (and while I like Poole/Moody/Kuminga, none of them scream superstar potential at all).

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Is your point we shouldn’t have discussions speculating about the future?

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Yep, now is definitely not even a year ago. :)

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I really didn't mean for this thread to devolve into a capology post, but rather, a forget about the cap, let's just dream as to what the offense might be like down the road with two super athletic bigs, and three amazing shooters, two of whom are also playmakers (Poole/Steph), and a decent rotation, that being said, I'll post some cap stuff above.

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I'm thinking the only way that the Warriors can keep Poole is to let Wiggins walk away at the end of his contract and move Klay to SF. I don't think they can even do a sign and trade since with the players signed through 22-23, they would probably be about $10m over the cap if they keep Wiseman, Kuminga, Moody and the core.

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Capology:

GP2 - status unknown - I bet the Dubs lock him into a multi-year deal, so let's assume 3 years, and we don't have to worry about him until 2024. Here's the rest of the 2022/2023 free agents according to ESPN:

2022

Kevon Looney

Otto Porter Jr.

Nemanja Bjelica

Andre Iguodala

Damion Lee

Chris Chiozza

2023

Andrew Wiggins

Draymond Green (player)

Jordan Poole (restricted)

2022: I could see a Looney re-sign for the same amount. I bet they ask him to test free agency again, but I don't know if anyone would pay him more. He's kinda custom-fit for the Dubs system. So maybe a slight raise, to $6/6.5/7M over three years?

OPJ is almost def. gone. He'll get $10M+ on the market. If we win the 'chip, would he stay for the MLE, would the Dubs want him? Bjeli may stay on the min. Let's see how he finishes out the season and does in the postseason. Dre is retiring. Chiozza might stay for the minimum if the Dubs have a roster spot.

Lee is a big question-mark. A lot depends on which Lee shows up for the rest of the season. Can he consistently hit a 38-40% 3P? If he can, he'd be great to keep for part of the MLE if OPJ declines it.

I'm gonna say the Dubs re-sign Bjeli/Looney/Lee, and lose OPJ/Chiozza/Dre. 2 open roster spots for 2 rookies, or 1 for a rook and 1 for a vet min.

2023 is the big question mark, and it all comes down to how much Lacob is willing to pay. Best case scenario? The Dubs are coming off back-to-back 'chips. If that's the case, I think Joe pays to keep the whole gang together. He'll probably see if Dray or Wiggs would be willing to take a slight haircut ala Durant in order to keep Poole around.

Coming off 1 'chip? Toss up. Coming off no chips? I think Wiggins is gone, Dray and Poole are kept on long-term. But honestly, that's a year and a half away, and a lot can happen with these three guys in the meantime.

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> Lee is a big question-mark. A lot depends on which Lee shows up for the rest of the season. Can he consistently hit a 38-40% 3P? If he can, he'd be great to keep for part of the MLE if OPJ declines it.

I would assume the Warriors would have some sort of rights on Lee where they wouldn't have to go into the MLE to re-sign him since he's been on the team for multiple seasons, but I could be wrong. I know that's the case for GP2.

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Good point. He's been with the Dubs since 2018. They own his Bird rights.

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by punk basketball

So they can effectively sign him to whatever contract they want - just gotta pay the tax. So then the question becomes: What will Lee's market price be? I bet they ask him to test the market, just like they asked Loon. But as a 3 and D guard/wing, his market should be much hotter than Loon's. If he can consistently hit that 3 pt shot.

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Agreed. Wigs is both overpaid and increasingly valuable. Poole is a must keep. Wouldn’t be shocked if JP3 is an All-Star eventually.

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The best place for JP3 is with the Warriors. He will have a very successful career under Kerr and Kerr's system and learning from Klay, Dray and Steph for the next ~10 years (not behind them, but with them and eventually ahead of them).

The real question is if this is the best place for him financially.

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I don't know if that's true, I think the best place for Poole might be a place where he can start at PG.

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My question: ignoring money, whose ceiling is higher, Poole’s or Wigg’s? I figure many would say Poole.

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Poole unquestionably. Firstly, Wiggins is 26 and Poole is 22. Secondly, Poole has the upside to be an offensive initiator on a good team (think Jamal Murray or Bradley Beal type) while Wiggins is a really good 3 and D guy who is also an opportunistic scorer. The difference in replacement value between the 2 archetypes is very significant (though Wiggins' good POA defense and poor off-ball defense does make him a somewhat unique 3 and D guy as compared to guys like Crowder/RoCo etc).

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Real close for the reasons mentioned, but I think by the end of the season, Poole will be the guy they hitch their horse to if it comes down to choosing one.

1. Pretty sure he’ll be cheaper

2. Klay’s aging would be better suited to SF

3. Poole’s defense is really improving to my eye and far less of an issue

4. He’s more versatile offensively and more indispensable when Steph isn’t on the floor

I’m an early settler to Wiggins Island, but think Poole’s ceiling is higher.

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Man, hard to say. Wiggins is at .590 TS% this season. Over the last 15 games, he's at .604 TS%, 47% 3P%(!!!). Is this the best version of Wiggs? How much of his play is Steph and how much is just him being more aggressive and not settling for the midrange? What would happen to that insane efficiency if his usage went up?

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It's a good question. I mean, Poole has the higher ceiling as a go-to offensive weapon, especially in Kerr's system. Wiggins may have the higher ceiling as an all-around play, especially on the defensive end. Just different types of players.

Also when ceilings are discussed, it can't be ignored that Wiggins as a #1 pick for a reason. How much has his ceiling decreased since then? Poole wasn't taken until the end of the first round. Has his ceiling increased?

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Yah, at this point I don't know if any of us know if Wiggins will keep developing or not. He's young enough and athletic enough. His time with the Wolves just screwed up his development curve so much.

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There seems to be an emerging consensus here that he is already better than some NBA all-stars.

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I’ve gassed him compared favorably to some all stars like Beal, and sub all stars like CJ. But not nearly enough to be considered a consensus

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You're reading very Warriors-centric media sources in that case lol. I can understand the argument that he's performed better than Beal this year, but that's because Beal has been pretty far from an all-star level this year.

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Which All-Stars?

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Conley? Mitchell? Beal?

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No (unless he really ages dramatically as the season goes on), definitely no and probably not (unless this slump is permanent for whatever reason).

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by punk basketball

I mean, he's a better scorer than Draymond!

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lol.

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Depends on Lacob. They will own Bird rights to Poole so can pay him as much as Joe is willing.

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I think you mean Bob Meyers can pay him as much...

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

Great stuff Eric!

So in actual NBA games Kuminga has been demonstrating elite:

- Athleticism

- Strength (especially for his size)

- Defensive tools

- Ability to get downhill

Yes, he could be a Kawhi with a 3-pointer, but even without it, I’d settle for a 6’8” Giannis…unless he wants to grow some more.

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Kawhi didn't have the three pointer at Kuminga's age either.

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yeah, he just has to show enough coordination in the defensive schemes (which are complicated and collaborative) and enough restraint in the offense (no jumpers) that he can stay on the floor to make his occasional impact plays

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

Fun to imagine JK in Wigs’ spot posting the guard up after a pin down screen. Dude is going to a massive problem if he develops a jumper while just a problem if he doesn’t. His ability to handle guards defensively (like Wigs) gives the Dubs tremendous flexibility with Steph and Klay.

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

I'm still thinking the 3pt shot will come around with time. It might never be as good as Leonard's when contested, but if he can hit 35-40% of uncontested 3pt shots, and I think he can, opposing teams will at least have to have somebody guard him.

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JK will be an All-Star if he can hit 35% from three. I'm not expecting that for the next two years.

Also, Kawhi is a crazy outlier how he added an elite skill every summer, so let's not count on that

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

The big difference with Kawhi is that Kawhi could always shoot for a high percentage from the beginning, he just never took that many shots. His efficiency never changed much as the volume went up. That said, Kuminga's shot doesn't look all that broken to me. I hope the results can improve with repetition. No argument from me that for this season at least he is better off not taking 3s, open or not.

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Dec 16, 2021Liked by Eric Apricot

Not necessarily in college (though his FT percentage was at least 70+%):

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/kawhi-leonard-1.html

Legend has it that the Spurs drafted him, Chip Engelland (who Steve Kerr tried to steal over to the Warriors when he was hired) told Leonard exactly what to do before the lockout hit, and then Leonard practiced the corrected form for the entire lockout and Leonard came back a decent shooter:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2634107-how-an-nba-shot-whisperer-transformed-kawhi-leonard-into-a-3-point-fire-hazard

> After Leonard joined the Spurs and signed his rookie contract—San Antonio sent highly-valued point guard George Hill to the Indiana Pacers for his draft rights—Engelland had only a few days to impart some shooting knowledge. The collective bargaining agreement between the league and the National Basketball Players Association was set to expire on July 1, and a lockout loomed. All team officials would then be prohibited from having any contact with players.

> Leonard spent three long days with Engelland. The Shot Whisperer tweaked his mechanics and gave him shooting drills to work on for as long as the lockout lasted.

> When the standstill was lifted in December and Leonard reported to training camp, it was evident he had spent most of the lockout months paying strict attention to Engelland’s lesson plan.

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Dec 17, 2021·edited Dec 17, 2021

Kawhi's cyborg skill acquisition really is incredible

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Attitude makes all the difference on this team. His physical gifts and ability to use them are undeniable.

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Now somebody needs to convince him to take same approach in G League.

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Isn’t the g-league for him to “work on stuff”?

On the big team, he now seems to be sticking to his offensive skill; getting downhill. (How many times has been stopped or stuffed on drives?)

We’d all love for him to develop an outside shot, so getting some in-game reps testing out what he’s been working on makes perfect sense to me.

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Was JTA the flavor of the season last year or was it a fluke or what? He seems to get very little action so far this year and some of it has been great and a lot of it has seemed spotty. Is he just about out of the rotation completely due to Iggy, CPII and Kuminga coming in? Not to mention OPJR

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In the 2nd half of last season when JTA was so impressive, the Warriors were REALLY short-handed. JTA looked free and easy and didn’t have to worry about losing minutes to anyone because the only person behind on was Mulder.

Now with so much more depth, JTA isn’t getting automatic run and he looks less confident to me when he does play, as if he’s worried about not doing enough or too much and getting pulled.

To guarantee more PT ahead of guys like Iggy, he really needed that 3-pointer that was going in at a 40% clip to be for real, which thus far hasn’t materialized. Without a deep ball, he’s a more pedestrian option and almost unplayable next to Draymond.

With Kuminga’s emergence, I think he’s likely to fall behind both he and Iggy. He’s still a useful and cheap ultimate team guy…and probably would benefit from Iggy retiring after the season.

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He's averaging 16 mpg, down from 20. It'll be up and down due to the depth of the team.

They had a stretch of games recently where Dre was out, Kuminga struggled, and the team as a whole lacked energy. They rode JTA during those times. It's a long season, they'll need him plenty.

Also, JTA ain't sweating it. It's from a few weeks back, but it's just an amazing answer.

https://twitter.com/957thegame/status/1461563766659682304?s=20

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I think JTA is still good and improving. When he’s gotten run recently, he has been impactful. But the bench is so much stronger that there’s already a minutes crunch and it will get worse with Klay and JW returning

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one issue is that as the Warriors are now in a tougher part of their schedule, there aren't as many minutes when the starters aren't on the floor. They have Celtics,Raptors,Kings,Grizzlies,Suns,Nuggets(2),Jazz,Heat, Mavericks and finally the Pelicans on 1/6. Kings excepted, all of those teams expect to be in the playoffs.

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Should be a lot of minutes opening up on Saturday against the Raptors.

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Gonna say Pelican’ts won’t either

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yes, the Pelicans are the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Really like the flashes we're getting from Kuminga in the limited minutes he's getting with the big club. Assuming health (knock on wood) we can hopefully see him gradually getting more and more minutes up to maybe a 10 per game level towards the end of the season.

That said, the minutes crunch is gonna be real with the return of Klay (lets pencil him in at ~20MPG) and Wiseman (maybe another ~10-15 MPG)? Wiseman should help take some load off of Looney who has probably been playing more minutes than we'd like for health and matchup reasons. I would expect we will just see some of the deeper bench getting 10MPG slices on a rotating basis but it will be really interesting to see how that works out.

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Really when Klay and Wiseman come back the team should try for overtime every night to have more minutes to spread around.

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I bet their opponents aren’t expecting that! #strategery

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> Assuming health (knock on wood) we can hopefully see him gradually getting more and more minutes up to maybe a 10 per game level towards the end of the season.

I should clarify, I mean health of other players. If we get any prolonged injury or COVID absences in the frontcourt we will see him get more minutes sooner than that.

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yes, I assume Kerr will let injuries and matchups make most of the hard lineup decisions. Tricky when 10 players could be legitimate second unit regulars

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Pretty sure Ben Simmons is still available for a package of Wiggins, Wiseman, Kuminga, Moody and future picks. I think it was really easy for Myers to laugh off that offer at the time (if it was ever really made) but boy, it sure has not aged well at all.

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Even Wiggins for Simmons straight up isn’t aging well.

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It’s so cute that Simmons has expressed a desire to play here

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That’s like me telling Salma Hayek I’m available.

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If she's not interested, tell her I'm available too.

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You might have a better chance if she IS interested.

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Ben Simmons is also still available for a package of Steph, KD, Giannis, and LeBron. Which is just as realistic as any of the other packages they've reportedly asked for.

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Lol salaries would not work in this case, it’s be a team swap where Embiid is filler lol

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Link for buying the hat that everyone wanted: https://alwaystrophyhunting.com/collections/accessories/products/stephen-curry-trophy-hunting-hat

(Warning: it’s pricey)

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Should be $29.74

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