Game Thread: Klay out; Wiseman, Green nearing return
Matinee showdown against potential playoff matchup
The Golden State Warriors came roaring out of the All Star break but today’s opponent, the Dallas Mavericks, will offer a much more difficult challenge than the tanking Portland Trail Blazers team that Golden State just ran over.
Golden State stood pat at the trade deadline, but Dallas wasn’t quite as comfortable with the position they found themselves in. Newcomers Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans dropped a combined 37 points in the team’s last loss to the Utah Jazz, and will be adding a new wrinkly to a familiar opponent.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (43-17) vs. Dallas Mavericks (35-25)
WHEN: Sunday, February 27, 2022 // 4:30pm PDT
Second year player James Wiseman is getting close to a return, and Draymond Green started participating in practice. That's the big news, though nothing changes for today’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Golden State Warriors’ plan this season has been built on the assumption that Wiseman could play some impactful minutes. It might be occurring a little later than planned, but all signs are pointing towards an increasingly imminent new center.
But not yet, meaning the Warriors are still going to be playing a bit short handed. Adding to the pain, Klay Thompson is questionable with a non-Covid illness.
On a more macro scale, the return of Wiseman is going to be a big moment. After a close return that was aborted in December, Golden State has been circumspect about Wiseman’s return. All that said, he's been sent to Santa Cruz for practice now, signaling that concerns have lifted enough to warrant some extra practice time.
Wiseman, whenever he returns, will be a fundamental shift- though the scale of it will depend on how well he plays.
Wiseman will bring that nebulous “interior presence” that Golden State has been waiting on. Funnily enough though, there are plenty of signs that point towards Wiseman’s return being more of a luxury than anything. It’s going to be hard to separate out Wiseman’s return from the of Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala (though his timeline is much less clear).
The Warriors have morphed a bit this season. Partially due to need, but partially as an end result of the shifting power dynamics around the league. I don’t know how rare this is, but the Warriors are generating proportionate amounts of their offense from three pointers and the paint. Check this out:
Right now, Golden State leads the league in portion of offense that comes from beyond the arc, generating around 39% of their offense off of the three ball.
The flip side is that they are 24th in the league when it comes to percent of their offense that comes from points in the point. Funnily enough, that value is also around 40% (40.2% according to the NBA).
You don’t need to know what exactly Wiseman can do all over the court in order to understand what a powerful shift his return would be.
In the meantime, Golden State is going to just keep working on winning with who they have now.