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Klay-minus two games: Warriors visit Dallas to start back-to-back
Andre Iguodala questionable
Phase one of the Golden State Warriors’ season is nearly complete. With Klay Thompson widely expected to return Sunday, it’s a matter of days until the Warriors enter the next phase of the season and begin the process of incorporating another hall of famer in what has been the league’s best team so far this season.
Golden State will visit the Dallas Mavericks on the front end of a back-to-back tonight, but it looks like they’ll be doing so without the services of Andre Iguodala, who is possibly headed back to the cryo chamber until he’s next needed.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (29-7) at Dallas Mavericks (19-18)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 // 4:30pm PDT
WATCH: ESPN; NBCSBA
Threats, risks, and the vulnerability that stems from playing against Curry
As Stephen Curry navigates his way through one of his driest spells, it’s amazing to see how impactful his presence on the court still is. Some of the awareness of Curry’s off shooting trend is coming from the chatter inherent to any player legitimately chasing the NBA’s MVP award. But some of the noise is exactly that: just random variance.
Curry has shot just…well look at his “open" and “wide open” shooting over the past 15 games:
This is an anomalous trend, and why i’m not nervous here. For a guy that has revolutionized the entire league and won a bounty of accolades based on his shooting prowess, it is weird to see the numbers drop so low - but this just makes me excited for Curry’s impending progression to his mean.
He’s still impacting the game and helping the team win, even if his shot isn’t falling at the level to be expected. Like any good team, his squad is stepping into the vacuum and helping to carry the scoring burden. In many ways, it’s good practice for the playoffs, or any weirdness that might happen when Thompson returns and throws player rotations into a new rhythm. Finding a way to win without Curry is a skill that this franchise hasn’t needed often, but when they do, it’s nice to know that other weapons can be brought to bear.
Of course, it’s not just Green. Players like Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Gary Payton, and Otto Porter have all shone for a needed moment or two here and there all season long. But it’s become inarguable that Curry is going through it with his shot right now.
In recent seasons, Curry playing below expectations would have been insurmountable, but with the revamped Warriors thriving it’s been one of those odd discussion items. A footnote rather than the header.
With Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole able to step up, and the most reliable bench the team has had in years, Golden State has hardly missed a beat.
Just wait till Klay Thompson comes back.
When the Warriors stroll into Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and ex-Warrior Marquese Chriss tonight, it’s going to be amidst an auspicious event as the team honors Dirk Nowitzki. He’ll always be connected to the Warriors franchise because of the We Believe series, but more than that, Dirk was a widely beloved icon during his long career.
The Mavericks are banged up (like the rest of the world these days) and will be playing short-handed - something that wasn’t an issue during their manhandling of the Denver Nuggets in their last game.
When the offseason ended, I know I wasn’t alone in wondering why Marquese Chriss never landed anywhere. A perfectly acceptable modern rim-running big man with just a bit of range, Chriss was a valuable member of Golden State’s rotation before his season ended with an injury last year.
Without Porzingas, Cauley-Stein, and Marjanovic the Mavericks took a shot with Chriss. He’s done well enough to get a second 10-day contract, and has been developing a nice synergy with a slower, wiser Doncic.