After winning the NBA championship in 2022, the Golden State Warriors starting unit remained the best lineup in basketball last season despite their overall turbulent year as a team.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said through the first 11 games of this season. The Warriors starting five has been nothing short of abysmal, leading to three-straight losses after a promising start.
With a reasonable sample size now in place, it’s getting to the point where Steve Kerr may need to consider a change to the Golden State Warriors starting lineup.
The starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney currently holds a net rating of -14.4. Despite the offensive issues surrounding Wiggins and Thompson, it’s actually been the defensive end where they’ve had most of their trouble.
The lineup holds a defensive rating of 126.6 — the worst of any five-man combination in the league that’s played at least 80 minutes together. Their offensive rating, on the other hand, is propelled by the electric form of Curry who’s averaging over 30 points to start the season.
Curry’s brilliance shouldn’t overshadow the fact the Warriors are essentially playing with three non-shooting threats on the floor in their starting five. They’ve been playing with two for years with the combination of Green and Looney, but Wiggins’ horrific start to the season is making it even worse.
The Canadian is shooting 15.4% from three-point range through 11 games. Not only that, but he’s also taking almost four attempts less than the 6.1 he averaged last season. That’s making things incredibly difficult and only multiplying the pressure placed on Curry.
With issues on both ends of the floor, how can head coach Steve Kerr go about trying to balance the concerns on each side? Ideally, the starting five would just play better — Wiggins and Thompson would start hitting shots, while Green would move closer to the Defensive Player of the Year candidate we know him to be.
Yet if this continues for much longer, Kerr may be forced into making a move. If that were the case, let’s look at three possible changes he should consider: