Warriors hit the road without Wiseman. Will it matter?
Preview: Suns out guns out - Warriors will need their A game to beat Phoenix
The Golden State Warriors have had it rough away from the comfort of home. Sporting a strong 6-1 record at home, they have yet to win a road game. That 0-7 road record is just as painful as it sounds. The Warriors have struggled to score - to the tune of about 10 points less per game on the road compared to home. It’s a concern.
Golden State isn’t necessarily at the point where they are looking around and taking stock of the league yet, but the Phoenix Suns are expected to be one of the teams in the playoffs so this is one of those regular season games that the players will tell us doesn’t matter any extra; but it will matter a little extra tonight as both teams want to prove their basketball superiority.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (6-8) at Phoenix Suns (8-5)
WHEN: Wednesday November 16, 2022 // 7pm PDT
WATCH: ESPN; NBCSBA
Wiseman heads to the G League - will it be better, or just different for Golden State?
It’s been all too easy to point fingers around the struggles of this season’s Warriors. Especially contrasted against the pyrophoric performances of Stephen Curry, there’s been a lot of troubled times in Golden State so far. Jordan Poole just busted out of his early season slump, but the Warriors’ other slow-starting wing, Klay Thompson remains firmly mired in his.
After some unsuccessful experimentation to start the season, coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors had already dialed back the second timeline movement. Maybe if Thompson and Poole came out on fire to start the season; or maybe if Andre Iguodala was playing it would have been different. But it wasn’t. Instead Wiseman and the other young Dubs (Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga) found themselves the frequent target of fan ire. There’s a lot that goes into being successful on a basketball court and Wiseman in particular is still working on large swaths of that equation.
Wiseman has been sent down to the G League, and though many may be quick to point out how bad the numbers look on Wiseman (admittedly, very bad), this is the only way to get the young man minutes. On the flip side - and there are many factors at work here - check out the team’s newfound glory after the roster shuffle.
For me, I’m still a believer in Wiseman. But my doubt (like many others from what I gather) in regards to this whole issue has been the timing and fit. For a team that historically has made a name for itself by playing without a center, and is also trying to win now in order to capitalize on the core, it’s always looked like a tough puzzle to work out. Between Covid, his injuries, and all of the team construction concerns, this is hardly an indictment on Wiseman’s entire career. That said, it’s not not that exactly either.
Yet again, Golden State is trying to figure out how to not bleed away the lead whenever Curry goes to the bench. This roster shuffle doesn’t solve everything, but that’s sort of the point: there’s no magic silver bullet here that fixes everything. The Warriors have an identified core that works, and are now needing to restructure a workable bench around it. The franchise is being patient with the second timeline, Wiseman will need to start showing the flashes of greatness a bit more often, whiff on a few less screens. There’s a second timeline building here in Golden State, one way or another.
Never fear Chris Paul
Maybe it’s the nut punches. Or his flops. Or his cheap run in front and hit the brakes plays. One way or another, I’m glad I am far from alone in my disdain for Chris Paul. As recently as last season, the Suns were generally seen as one of the rising threats in the West but now seem resigned to play out the same fate as every Chris Paul team: early playoff exit. Paul is questionable after missing the team’s last three games with a foot injury. Cam Johnson is sadly out as well (for at least a couple of months), with a meniscus injury (the same thing that led to the retirement of yours truly from Friday night fat Dad basketball league).
Do the rest of the Suns have enough to push the Warriors? Sure. After all, recent win aside, this Warriors team has been playing more like the bowling pins than a bowling ball. But it sure would be nice if Golden State turned the corner and started looking like they’ve figured some stuff out!
After going to a punk rock show last night and waking up at 6am, I predict that I will be extremely tired as you read this sentence. I also predict a Dubs victory, because it is their destiny!
Silver lining is that the 6-9 start may force Myers' hand sooner than later. Starters + Poole, Donte, Lamb is still a really good core 8, imo (once JP and Klay start heating up). Just need to make a move for another playable big and/or big wing.
I propose a trade: Dubs send Kenny Atkinson +$10M [or however much it takes] to the Kings for Mike Brown.