Looney to start for Warriors against Timberwolves
Golden State shuffles the deck, will send Wiseman to the bench
This wasn’t the plan.
Rookie James Wiseman was supposed to eventually take over as the Golden State Warriors’ starting center - when he was ready. But then Marquese Chriss went down with a season-ending injury, and Wiseman was quickly playing a more prominent role than he was probably ready for.
Though he gave us plenty of highlights, the game was still a bit too fast for Wiseman, who (like most rookies) struggled especially on the defensive end.
So after saying “all options are on the table,” after the big loss to the Utah Jazz. coach Steve Kerr has made a move.
It’s another opportunity for steady Kevon Looney to make a name for himself. Like Draymond Green, Looney isn’t an especially strong scorer, relying on other aspects of his game to keep him on the court.
Via Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Kerr did offer some additional details on this decision - and I’m sure we’ll be getting more information after the game. But on the face, Kerr’s saying that that Looney’s defensive stability was one of the key factors in the decision to change the starting lineup.
One thing that sticks out is that this move was the clear choice, even from the outside. The fact that it took a big loss to force the team to re-evaluate the starting lineup indicates to me that the Warriors were clearly sticking with those five in order to foster Wiseman’s development playing alongside Curry and Green.
Just to pat my own back a bit, here’s the relevant section from yesterday’s article on the Warriors balancing act between developing their rookie, and actually winning games right now.
So… Kevon Looney it is!
WHO: Golden State Warriors (8-8) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (4-11)
WHEN: Monday, January 26th, 2021 // 7:00 pm PST