Game Thread: Wobbly Warriors welcome rebuilding Rockets
Thompson, Igoudala both out (rest) along with Green; Wiggins questionable
The Golden State Warriors are hoping for better results on the tail end of this back-to-back. Coming off one of the more painful mid-season losses in recent memory - a 121-117 loss to an Indiana Pacers team that played without any of their usual starters - the Warriors are right back at with tonight’s game against the rebuilding Houston Rockets.
With Draymond Green already out while dealing with an ongoing back/leg issue, Golden State is adding Klay Thompson and Otto Porter to the injury list as they manage their health with an eye towards the long term. Also, in a late change, Andrew Wiggins showed up on the early injury report as questionable (foot).
WHO: Golden State Warriors () vs Houston Rockets (14-32)
WHEN: Friday January 21, 2022 // 7pm PDT
Klay’s return has been bumpy, as expected
Stephen Curry had 39 points and 8 assists while logging a hefty 44 minutes, and yet it still wasn’t enough to overcome a Pacers team that wasn’t elite even before losing their entire starting lineup.
The “what went wrong” part is easy.
Klay Thompson, absent from the team for something like two and a half years, is back. And though he’s firing shots up at his old rate, the accuracy hasn’t come around just yet. At 37% overall shooting (and 30% from deep) in his six games, Thompson’s struggles are eerily reminiscent of Kelly Oubre - who shot like crazy early last season while struggling out to the worst shooting start in NBA history. For Thompson, the concern isn’t so much that this is his new normal (he for sure can still shoot and will eventually come around) but rather what this current version does to the team.
At 14.3 attempts per game, Thompson trails only Curry in volume. This is a painful way to get 15 points per game. Sorting by eFG%, Thompson is the least efficient shooter in the Warriors’ regular rotation:
Thompson’s return has also bumped Jordan Poole to the bench, where he’s averaging 12 points per game (versus his season average of 16.6).
It’s fine though. Maybe not fine right now, but this is what it looks like when you add back in a high usage player that’s as rusty as Thompson. Maybe tonight’s game without Thompson will help the team rediscover it’s old equilibrium - and then use that as a stepping stone towards their new point of balance.
It’s been a while, but today being Friday and all, I’m back with DNHQ’s least requested feature! For today, I’m bringing back Decent Criminal. Just saw them live and they ripped.
I hope this bands gets super famous - and also that you all have a killer weekend.