The Golden State Warriors haven’t had many rotation lineups over the past five years that would be considered unsuccessful.
Almost every lineup that Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has thrown out there during meaningful minutes has been able to tread water at the bare minimum, with lineups like “The Hamptons Five” being arguably the best five-man unit in history.
Still, there has always been that stretch at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters where Stephen Curry is on the bench, and Warriors fans hang on for dear life.
This year’s roster looks dramatically different though, and while it’s expected that the team’s overall performance will decline, there’s a chance the second and fourth quarter starters could turn a weakness into a strength.
D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein will likely be the cornerstones of those units until Klay Thompson comes back. That gives the Warriors what should be a potent attack built around a Russell and WCS pick-and-roll, which Kerr would want to surround with capable shooters.
Some combination of Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks, Jacob Evans, and Jordan Poole could be reasonably expected to fill the wing positions, and Eric Paschall could fit in at the power forward spot.
While that lineup isn’t going to run teams out of the gym, it could pose more of an offensive threat than the Steph-less lineups in the past.
Once Klay comes back, things get even more interesting.
The Warriors could be fielding a lineup of Russell, Thompson, Poole/Robinson/Burks, Paschall, and WCS. If Paschall and some of the other rookies and minimum contract veterans develop, the Warriors could be looking to win those stretches rather than being in damage-control mode.
The stretches at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters have always been key for the Warriors. In the past, it was because they needed to survive them, but this year, with a unit led by D’Angelo Russell, the Warriors could turn their weakness into a strength.