The latest iteration of the Golden State Warriors' starting lineup is set to earn extended opportunity, with head coach Steve Kerr confirming the new opening five will again start against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.
According to Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News, Kerr has confirmed the starting five of Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga and Trayce Jackson-Davis will remain "for a while."
Struggling at 15-17, the Golden State Warriors are desperately trying to find rhythm and chemistry with their starting lineup
Most notable from Saturday's loss to the Mavericks was Kevon Looney's removal from the starting five in favor of the rookie sensation in Jackson-Davis. While it was a move many saw coming, it was still a major shift given the dependable 27-year-old had started 199 of Golden State's previous 231 games.
Jackson-Davis performed admirably, proving a greater offensive threat with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go with six rebounds and a pair of assists. The 23-year-old's addition to the starting lineup looks more than just a short-term experiment, with his athleticism providing a much-needed boost in contrast to the often tired looking Looney.
While Jackson-Davis saw his first NBA start, fellow rookie Brandin Podziemski was a casualty despite recent good form. He was replaced by veteran point-guard Chris Paul, initiating frustration among fans who bemoan the size and defensive issues emanating from the trio of Paul, Curry and Thompson.
That frustration is set to continue, not that it's a surprise given Paul delivered a season-high six threes and 24 points in the 132-122 loss to the Mavericks. Perhaps there's also the thought that Kerr simply doesn't want to start two rookies and the talented but still unpredictable Jonathan Kuminga.
Whatever the case, this version of the starting lineup is unlikely to last more than a few games regardless of Kerr's assurances. Draymond Green is expected to return from his indefinite suspension at some point in the coming weeks, with the former Defensive Player of the Year likely to take the place of Paul, Kuminga or Jackson-Davis.
Even if Green were to come off the bench upon his return, the looming trade deadline could see the franchise acquire a starter who's not currently on the roster. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins will no doubt have his sights set on a return to the starting five following his demotion last month.
Green is the only player on the injury report for the Warriors, with the Magic to be without veteran forward Joe Ingles and the injury-plagued Jonathan Isaac. Markelle Fultz is questionable with a knee issue, while 11th overall pick Jett Howard is on G League assignment.
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