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Green "away from team" and Thompson still not ready for preseason as Warriors host Lakers
Youth movement and prepping in unexpected ways
My life is in a bit of turmoil right now. It’s good turmoil, but nonetheless, it’s got me feeling a little discombobulated right now. For the first time since I’ve been writing about basketball, I’m changing my day job. It’s an exciting new opportunity, but it also means that in a lot of ways, I’ve lost my solid footing for what I do day-to-day.
Like Draymond Green, I’m not working today, or tomorrow. But unlike me, his self-inflicted freedom is due to punching Jordan Poole in the face during a practice dust-up. After saying that there would not be a suspension, Green and the Warriors have made what they are calling a “mutual decision” that will keep Green away from the team for an unspecified amount of time.
Presumably, this semi-but-not-a-suspension will cover some or all of the remaining preseason; but not preclude Green from participating in the opening night ring ceremony when the regular season opens one week from Tuesday.
WHO: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
WHEN: Sunday October 9th, 2022 // 5:30pm PDT
Kuminga gets the start as everyone eyeballs the future
In place of Draymond Green, it sounds like 2nd year phenom, Jonathan Kuminga will be getting the start this evening. It’s an excellent opportunity for a promising player that everyone hopes will be able to grow into a larger and larger role with the team. And sooner is better than later.
Kuminga - who Kerr reportedly told looked better than ever recently - is one of the key elements of a “bridge to the future” that may be needed soon. With no exact timetable for Green’s return, and an unknown future impact should the chasm with Poole fail to heal, Kuminga and James Wiseman will given ample chances this season to prove that they can shoulder a heavier burden. It’s an ideal place to be for a young player - having a support system in place but with room to grow.
Beyond Kuminga, the absence of Thompson, Green, and Andre Iguodala (just resting because he’s old) will open up a lot of minutes for the cadre of exciting young players that Golden State has somehow managed to acquire for a rebooted dynasty stage.
While it always goes like this in preseason, the available minutes in coach Steve Kerr’s rotation are going to be flung out like guitar picks at the end of a rock concert. With an established top 6 or 8 player rotation, Kerr and the Warriors are still hoping to find a hidden gem or two to round out the back end of the roster. This could translate beyond the preseason, as the Warriors aging veteran roster construction ensures that there will be the occasional need to fill in big gaps in what is mostly an established rotation.
One other player to watch for today is rookie Patrick Baldwin jr. Much like Kevon Looney, the Warriors managed to snag a once-coveted player that was projected to go higher in the draft before his stock was negatively impacted by some unfortunate injuries. So much of the Warriors’ draft approach has felt like found money, this is looking like yet another low stakes gamble that may end up working out better than hoped.
Lakers banged up already
After missing out on the playoffs last year, the Los Angeles Lakers were hopeful that this season would be different, from a health perspective. Unfortunately, it looks Anthony Davis’ body didn’t get the memo. His status is uncertain at time of writing - sounds like he may be something close to a game time decision.
Juan Toscano-Anderson will be back in a week or two when the regular season opens, so fans will be able to shower him with cheers as he recieves his championship ring. There’s nobody listed on the team’s official injury report right now, but given the fact that we are talking about preseason here, my uneducated guess is that neither player ends up suiting up for the Lakers today.
My good friend Javier is going to this game, and I predict that it will be a fun one. A positive aspect of so many Warriors being out for this game is that the young guns will get more run. As anyone who has played basketball will tell you, it’s much easier and more comfortable for most players to be on the court for longer. Playing short stint minutes may be required for bench players, but all of these players are accustomed to being one of the best on the court at all times. I’m personally pretty excited to see what some of these mixed lineups are able to do today.
Above all, be zen. If preseason really mattered, then Anthony Randolph and Reggie Williams would be on all sorts of career leaderboards. Let’s just have fun out there. No injuries!