Warriors Weekly- Do the Warriors Need to Make a Move, the week that was, and the week to come
The Week That Was:
Last week, I wrote that 2-1 was to be expected given the opponents. That happened but in a sort of unexpected way. Wins against the Pelicans the night before they brought Anthony Davis back and the Lakers shortly after they lost Kobe Bryant again made total sense. However, Coach Popovich and the Spurs pulled out the TNT game despite sitting Duncan, Parker, and Manu. The quality of play they got from guys deeper on their bench shows just how deep and strong their organization is, especially when juxtaposed with a Warriors team that just floundered when only one of their top six missed time.
The Soapbox: Do the Warriors Need to Make a Move?
After three deflating losses in four games culminating with the blown game against the Spurs, I read and heard plenty of chatter about the necessity of doing something to change something. I understand and echo some of that frustration- this team should be playing better than they have. Some of that stems from losing Iguodala for an extended period but a team starting the same basic core as last season should not have lost at Charlotte or Phoenix during that stretch.
As I see it, the Warriors have the talent on roster to give themselves a shot in the arm without trading or signing a player. As long as the top six are healthy, the team can have a respectable primary ballhandler on the floor at all times with enough defense and scoring to stay in games. However, that statement comes with an acknowledgement that Coach Jackson has not managed minutes and rotations to fit that model. Excluding situations with foul trouble and/or injuries, the Warriors should not play a meaningful minute with both Iguodala and Curry sitting at the same time. Toney Douglas can work as a defender and complementary ballhandler but relying on him or Bazemore to run the offense will lead to catastrophe more often than not. Playing David Lee more when Curry sits would help as well.
The other problem comes from the concept of when to move assets. In basketball as in stocks and houses, you want to sell when the asset’s value is high (ideally even inflated) and buy near the low point. While arguments can be made that David Lee, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes’ value around the league could continue to drop, I think that something closer to the deadline would make more sense. As always, if another team makes an offer that misjudges those players in Golden State’s favor (likely from Billy King and the Nets), Bob Myers and the front office should pounce. Absent that kind of good luck, I would take more time and try more configurations, especially since the Dubs do not have their own draft pick this season.
Having two pieces in Curry and Iguodala that should clearly be a part of the future of the team provides a nice frame to evaluate potential choices the team can make. The rest of the team makes sense with that core as long as the main players stay relatively healthy and are used correctly. The upcoming road trip and subsequent long home stand should give the front office a much better idea of how this team should shake out for this year and beyond in time for the trade deadline.
The Week to Come:
We may learn more about the Warriors and their long-term potential this week than any other stretch so far this season. Monday’s game in Denver should bring plenty of emotion since it marks Iguodala’s return to his most recent home and the Warriors first game against the team they upset in the playoffs. From there, the Dubs return home to tough games against the Clippers on Christmas and the Suns on Friday, two teams Golden State already lost to on the road this season. After a travel day, the Warriors end the week by starting a massive seven-game road trip in Cleveland against Kyrie Irving and the Cavs.
2-2 would be quite respectable but I would not be shocked to see a 1-3 week.