The Golden State Warriors have become famous over the past nine years for popularizing the small ball play style. So far, they are the only team that has mastered the art of playing small, making it that much more interesting that they have the ability to run a big-man lineup.
During the loss to the Sacramento Kings, at the end of the third quarter, Steve Kerr put in a lineup where the shortest player was Donte DiVincenzo at six foot four inches. This lineup also consisted of Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga, and Kevon Looney. Draymond Green, who’s recently been the subject of reports after the Warriors’ slow start, rounded out the lineup.
While they got outscored by a decent amount while they were on the floor, there was not enough of a sample size to really judge how good this lineup could be.
This is a lineup that can and did switch everything on defense while also giving them a good shot at scoring on the other end. They have two good three-point shooters, an ok shooter, and four guys who can get to the rim fairly easily if they want to.
It’s likely that this lineup was only put together in order to get a defensive stop and, if possible, get a three from either Thompson or DiVincenzo. Still, this lineup is fascinating. It would be interesting to see what they could do together in extended minutes.
Might we continue to see to Warriors use this lineup?
The Golden State Warriors love playing small and fast with a lot of threes, but that opens up weaknesses to skilled big men to completely destroy them in the paint. Every year, it feels like the Warriors get crushed by a center in nearly every game. This was noticeable again against the Kings where Domantas Sabonis went off on the glass.
In a game against a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, a bigger lineup may be handy — if only just to keep the towering duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert from doing too much damage on the glass.
This would also be an interesting lineup against teams that like to play a little smaller like the Dallas Mavericks or the Charlotte Hornets. Even the Atlanta Hawks have a smaller lineup that they go to sometimes.
This group from the Warriors has the defensive ability and the size to switch everything and still play hard defense. This would make it tough for any opposing team to get good looks, especially from the perimeter.
The only team that would really beat this lineup with ease would be one with ridiculous athleticism like the Memphis Grizzlies behind Ja Morant, the Sacramento Kings with De’Aaron Fox, or even the Detroit Pistons with Jaden Ivey.
Would the Golden State Warriors consider trading James Wiseman in a deal to re-acquire fan favourite Gary Payton II from the Portland Trail Blazers?
Even if Steve Kerr never decides to use this group of guys on the floor together again, it is an interesting lineup of players to think about. The Golden State Warriors could really benefit from going a bit bigger at times this season as well.