Pacers shock Warriors; Duarte shines and vindicates his DNHQ supporters
There are receipts!!
The Golden State Warriors took a stunning overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers 121-117 last night.
Maybe some of the naysayers were right.
And no I’m not talking about the rumor that Stephen Curry is falling into an age-related decline after he failed to score in OT and missed the game-saving three-pointer in the final seconds. He had 39 points last night and accounted for 66% of the team’s three-pointers last night (he shot 6-of-16 from beyond the arc, the team shot 9-of-42).
And no I’m not talking about the idea that the Warriors were naive to rely on Klay Thompson to lift their title hopes after two major injuries. Sure he shot 6-of-17 from the field and missed all seven attempts from beyond the arc in 23 minutes, but he’s still finding his sea legs. He’ll be fine in time.
And I’m definitely not buying that Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are untrustworthy auxiliary scoring options better dangled as trade bait after they combined to score 16 points on 6-for-22 shooting from the field.
And I’m certainly not believing Steve Kerr is terrible coach actively sabotaging what remains of Curry’s prime (although I’d definitely like him to foul up three points in the final seconds of the 4th quarter). IS THAT FORMER WARRIOR JUSTIN HOLIDAY’S MUSIC?
But MAYBE the Warriors made a mistake by missing Chris Duarte in the draft. Duarte was the darkhorse of Eric Apricot’s brilliant DNHQ draft tourney last summer, garnering plenty of goodwill and votes in a highly competitive poll of Dub Nation’s ideal draft picks. He made the semifinals before losing to Alperen Sengun, but he had some very vocal supporters. Here’s some of the receipts from them in the quarterfinal matchup:
DrumRollGyro: Duarte. His size and shooting are just *chefs kiss* he’d be a great Warrior. Instantly impactful, I could see him realistically being a good postseason player from the jump too.
Chaos_Samedi: Duarte all day, I'd even take him over guys like wagner and kispert. I'm not buying the whole no potential since he's older. How old was brogdon when he came in the league? Duarte is the real deal and I really dont see any weakness in his game, I think he can come in and be a positive right off the bat, with potential to tighten up the handle down the line and run some offenses
JMullins23: When drafting Duarte at 14, you aren't looking for him to be a top 50 (which means he's in the top 1/3 of all NBA starters and probably a borderline All-Star), much less a top 10 player. You're using a rare opportunity to draft in the lottery to get a solid 2d unit guy on a rookie-scale contract for 4-5 years.
TheseGuysAreF’ingGIANTS!: Duarte is the pick. These both seem like #14 picks. Love the passing concept for JJ but it seems more theoretical than realized. History says if you draft an old guy not named Duncan (or maybe Green) he’s not likely to be in the HoF and if you draft a young guy not named Lebron he’ll almost certainly be a bust on the first contract. So your best bet is to ignore age at this point and draft actually good basketball players. Both these guys could be considered actually good but Duarte has shown consistently good shooting and that tips it.
Duarte certainly looked the part last night, ripping Golden State for 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He also added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 0 turnovers!!!!
Meanwhile the guy the Warriors picked over Duarte, Jonathan Kuminga, was a -16 plus/minus in 15 minutes, and got baited into a soft tech by the master instigator Lance Stephenson:
You may be wondering who won the DNHQ draft tourney. Wellp that’d be Moses Moody, with Scottie Barnes winning over Kuminga in the longshot “if they fall to us in the draft order” category. As we know the Dubs followed DNHQ’s advice and took Kuminga and Moody since Barnes was already off the board.
BUT FOR THOSE DUARTE TRUTHERS OUT THERE, I SEE YOU!