Timberwolves beat Warriors; GSW patiently waits for Klay and Dray to return
STEP IT UP OR ELSE YOU'LL BE A THREE SEED DAMMIT!
The Golden State Warriors have humiliated their entire fanbase by barely having the second best record in the entire NBA (Memphis is hot on their heels). What the hell kind of franchise is this? How could a team with the highest payroll in NBA history not care more about winning? HOW COULD THEY NOT BEAT MINNESOTA?!
Is it time to abandon the ship and go root for the Lakers as many Warriors fans in the past did?
Ehhh those aren’t the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, they only have LeBron James + Anthony Davis + Russell Westbrook, I’d advise you to steer clear.
Okay that look at the trash Lakers season was quite sobering and is bringing me back to reality. A reality which says that the injured Warriors are throwing out more rotations than Big O Tires as Coach Steve Kerr experiments with the depth chart. He historically has believed wholeheartedly in giving his bench players plenty of time throughout the season to prove themselves and stay engaged, believing it eventually pays off in the postseason.
That’s definitely tied to his career as a rotation player in the NBA winning championships with the Bulls and Spurs, where he privately felt the burn of wanting to contribute, and also watched coaches like Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich expertly deal with the myriad of personalities on an NBA team.
"The bench guys, those who are either in the rotation or on the fringes of the rotation, that's where the feel comes in," Kerr told reporters Tuesday. "I learned a great lesson from Phil Jackson when I played for him. You just randomly throw a guy onto the floor before he can languish, and I know I've probably created some angst among our fans over the years by putting random guys into crunch time, but I totally believe it's important not only for the player but for the team. What I learned from Phil is that when you do that, it keeps everybody engaged, but also guys are ready when their time does come, and inevitably their time comes.
"I think if a coach doesn't prepare guys for their opportunity, then he isn't doing his job."
Is it an exact science? I don’t know, I’m just a guy reading NBA autobiographies and replaying The Last Dance on Netflix at 1:30am while working on music. But what I do know is that Kerr’s penchant for experimenting was further fueled by the fact that HE’S MISSING TWO OF HIS BIGGEST WEAPONS IN KLAY THOMPSON AND DRAYMOND GREEN.
Like, it’s hard enough to win in the NBA even when completely healthy. To do it without two of the greatest players in franchise (and league) history while integrating youngsters like Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga and reclamation projects like Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr. is a very high degree of difficulty.
I do enjoy hearing what the fans (especially here at the HQ) think Kerr (and front office) should do differently to get this team humming again. I’m not married to any particular philosophy beyond JUST WIN BABY. But let’s recall that while I was vociferously defending the front office’s performance in the offseason, I was also clear on where I thought the Dubs would end up seeded based on injury projections and new additions.
From Group Chat Fury: Grading the Warriors offseason right when I was praising Wiggins to a skeptical Duby Dub Dubs:
Duby: Still overpaid. He's cool, but it's still weird that we aren’t allowed to worry about his bloated contract making team pass on using MLE. I'd say my concerns by tier are.
health (curry/dray/wiggs, plus all the new FA and Klay’s return
reliance on Curry going nuke again pretty much every game
needing rookies to play 15 minutes on the regular, more with injuries
Daniel: Oh you're allowed to worry; I'm allowed to constantly roll my eyes at the handwringing too hahah.
Duby: Lmaoooo fair enough!! What seed you thinking for this squad?
Daniel: The West is pretty banged up minus the Lakers and Portland probably, but I don't see the Warriors working too hard for wins (knowing Kerr and they already won 73, and they're not healthy for a bit). So they'll probably start herky jerky and then turn it on after the all star break to nestle in somewhere around 4 through 6.
But even if they're the 8th seed, if they're healthy, LOOK OUT.
Duby: Same. 4-6 range I think. Contingent on health, as always, for every team.
That’s right folks, me the Gold Blooded King and super homer was quite quick to point out that this team wasn’t going to be a regular season juggernaut. I just had it backwards: I figured they’d start slow and catch their stride later, rather than start out on a historically amazing pace and then hit a rough patch around the All-Star break.
Then again I also figured Klay and Dray would be fully integrated by this point, not on the sidelines while Moses Moody started in March.
Helicopter view: this season has been a success so far. They had a record of 42-17 at the All-Star break…they were 41-16 at the 2018-2019 All-Star break in Kevin Durant’s last season with the team. This team has built a cushion for themselves to figure out who can contribute in a postseason environment and how, while patiently waiting for their two killers to return back to form.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that they do. And if that’s the case, the odds are high that the Warriors will end up like pretty much every other NBA team that loses two of its best players and doesn’t win a championship, and that’s okay.
But if they can get Draymond back to form?? And Klay keeps getting his sea legs uner him??? As I said in the DNHQ Group Chat: LOOK OUT!
(Also there’s no excuse for losing to the mediocre Timberwolves after they had played the night before. Andrew Wiggins needs to go for 40 next game before the fairweather fans start abandoning Wiggins Island leaving me and Dr. Tom with a bunch of buildings with no tenants).