All of the Golden State Warriors advanced metrics, offensive and defensive rating specifically, have taken a hit and one has to wonder if the team is either looking forward to the break or just banged up, or a mixture of both.
The Warriors have yet to play a game fully healthy, and that makes it even more impressive that they are where they are in the standings.
Golden State is still second place in the Western Conference standings, however, the Warriors haven’t looked like themselves for a while now.
Head coach Steve Kerr needs a lot of the credit as he has really done a magnificent job of coming up with rotations that put the team in a position to win. The injuries to Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, and Draymond Green have really hurt the Warriors in the first half of the season.
Unfortunately, the Big 3 will have to wait until after the break to play together, due to Green rehabbing his injury which was sustained right before the return of Thompson. Add James Wiseman into the mix and the Warriors will finally be at full strength, which is a scary sight for any contending team.
Now it’s time to take an in-depth look at where Golden State is right now.
Fans were wondering if the Warriors were going to make a move at the deadline last week, however, they didn’t. This must mean that the team has ultimate confidence in James Wiseman and his rehab process.
Wiseman, recovering from a torn meniscus last year, is going to be needed to play big down the stretch, especially when Golden State might have to go up against the likes of Nikola Jokic, DeAndre Ayton and Anthony Davis come playoff time.
Kevon Looney has played every game, yet is undersized for his position. Green, when he comes back, is also undersized for the position he plays. This is going to continue to lead to them playing heavy minutes until Wiseman returns sometime after the All-Star break.
Wiseman will provide Golden State with a big body of their own to really wreak havoc in the interior and secure defensive rebounds to close out possessions.
I really think that anything the former second overall pick does offensively is just a bonus at this point, whether it be finishing alley-oops or scoring in the low-post on occasion.
Golden State, by starting out the season strong, has shown that they are extremely deep, which makes Wiseman’s job easier compared to last season where he was expected to do more as a rookie.
Also, struggling heading into the break is not something new for the Dubs. Kerr’s squad has gotten complacent and played sloppy basketball right before the weekend festivities before. I think it is a combination of factors that have caused this, at least this year.
Injuries have forced Kerr into playing a tighter rotation, tiring out the entire team. The injury to Draymond has really hurt the team as he is the anchor defensively and the main facilitator on offense.
Green doesn’t get enough credit for what he does because of his impact not always showing up on the stat sheet. The injuries have also made it much tougher on Stephen Curry, similar to last year where he shouldered a lot of the load.
Curry will certainly benefit from Green returning, as well as Wiseman.
The panic button shouldn’t be even in thought because of how well this team has played without their core guys on the floor together. I fully expect a recharged, fully motivated Dubs team coming out of the break—a team nobody wants to see in the future.