Golden State Warriors' starting lineup may require significant shift

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

After months of struggling to find the right starting combination, it appeared like Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors had finally found their opening five by the All-Star break.

Brandin Podziemski has replaced Klay Thompson as the starting shooting-guard, while Jonathan Kuminga has cemented himself as the power-forward. The young duo have joined veterans Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, forming the nucleus of the Warriors over recent weeks.

With mounting physical pressure on Draymond Green and a lack of scoring, the Golden State Warriors may need another lineup change

The new-look starting five began productively, helping the Warriors to their best stretch of the season. In 20 games together, the unit still holds a more than reasonable 12.9 net rating in 193 minutes.

But more recently, the starting lineup has become a little stale, particularly against the New York Knicks on Monday where they were outscored by 20 points in 11 minutes. Offensively they're beginning to have the same issue the traditional opening five had, with the combination of Green and Kevon Looney becoming untenable due to a lack of shooting and scoring. Now, the same concern is arising with Green and Podziemski.

The rookie guard is a capable shooter, but his lack of scoring is making it hard to justify his spot in the starting lineup despite everything else he brings to the table. Podziemski has scored eight points or less in seven of his last 10 games, including going scoreless in 25 minutes against the Knicks.

Brandin Podziemski, Kyrie Irving
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Podziemski and Green can work together in the starting lineup, but it does place enormous pressure on Curry and Kuminga, not to mention Wiggins whose scoring has become inconsistent and untrustworthy over the last 12 months.

There's also the issue of Green as the starting center, with the veteran managing a back issue that sees him questionable for Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Having a 6'6", 34-year-old play predominantly center is an unsustainable approach despite the early benefits it yielded.

So what's the solution? The obvious one is to bring Klay Thompson back into the starting five for Podziemski, giving the Warriors another scoring/shooting threat. The second is to promote Trayce Jackson-Davis to starting center, a position the rookie big man has looked capable of filling during an increased role over recent games. Who goes back to the bench though? Wiggins? Kuminga? Starting Jackson-Davis has far more implications than solely Green.

For now, Kerr will likely give Podziemski the opportunity to rediscover and further develop his scoring capacity. It's also likely Green remains as the starting five, but with Jackson-Davis taking an increased workload off the bench.