The Warriors starting lineup was originally adjusted because of the foot sprain that Stephen Curry sustained in the middle of March against the Celtics.
A dangerous play by Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart held the two-time MVP out for the remainder of the regular season. Thankfully, given Curry’s dominance, it seems like he hasn’t missed a beat.
The Golden State Warriors are going to have to adjust their starting lineup, and while the fix seems easy, it may be far from simple for head coach Steve Kerr.
However, it still doesn’t seem like he’s at full strength, or he may not quite be there in terms of his conditioning yet. Nonetheless, the Warriors have yet to incorporate him back into the starting lineup.
That’s most certainly on the horizon. What happens then still isn’t known.
Beforehand, it was Andrew Wiggins who would keep his spot as a starter with Klay Thompson playing the two and Jordan Poole coming off the bench, but it’s impossible to overlook what Poole has become. Poole is averaging 29.5 points per game during his two postseason games.
Poole averaged 26.3 points per game throughout the last month of the regular season. The problems come with the size that a Poole, Thompson, Curry starting lineup may possess. It’s assumed that starting center Kevon Looney will maintain his spot.
Given the Warriors’ new death lineup has only played 11 minutes through 2 playoff games, it’s unlikely the Dubs opt to start the dynamic five-man unit that doesn’t have a single player standing over 6-foot-8.
Kerr is going to have to decide between Poole and Wiggins, the latter of which was an All-Star starter. Given Wiggins is also typically tasked with defending one of the opponents’ best players, his spot may be secure.
Again, it’s impossible to not be impressed by what Poole is doing which makes this decision far more difficult than it seems. The Warriors could start out with a dynamic offensive-focused lineup that features Poole, but that’s typically been more of a mid-game unit.
The Warriors have been slightly better with Poole on the court as his net rating is 6.6 as compared to Wiggins’ 5.8. Between them is Looney who is at 6.0 on the season. All 3 have a strong claim to a starting spot once Curry is reintroduced to the starting lineup.
Ultimately, it’ll be Kerr’s decision, but it seems difficult to bring Wiggins off the bench, especially considering what he brings on the defensive end.