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Thompson: The Warriors’ two timelines collide, and something has to give

Thompson: The Warriors’ two timelines collide, and something has to give

SACRAMENTO — 9:03 left, after a fast break De’Aaron Fox Restricted to 7-0 in 55 seconds for the hosts, the warriors Coach Steve Kerr called a timeout. He couldn’t wait any longer. Stephen Curry And Draymond Green had to come back It would indeed be another heavy-minutes night, with the urgency of a third straight game their guide.

Warriors need to win. Their chance was missed on Sunday night. So it was time to win. That means, once again, it’s time for the young studs to take their seats.

“We’re not a team right now where we can let guys make mistakes,” Kerr said before the 122-115 loss to the Kings. “We are not good enough to tolerate many mistakes.”

It’s hard not to miss messaging. It’s subliminally loud. This was supposed to be the year when the young guys on the roster took on bigger roles, stepping up to their destiny to one day be the stewards of this championship franchise. But when it’s time to win, they have to take their seats.

James Wiseman, the third-year center and former No. 2 pick was stripped from the rotation after their five-game skid sent the team into desperation mode. Forward Moses Moody, a second-year lottery pick, joined Wiseman for the last two games Gorilla-Glued to the bench. Forward Jonathan Cuminga, another second-year lottery pick, managed several stints in the early parts of the game. But when it’s real, he’s by their side.

Sunday, even Jordan Poole sat out most of the fourth quarter, sacrificing their push for a three-game winning streak.

The Warriors went with six players and made changes for most of those final nine minutes. Five of the six have championship rings — six of the seven if you include Poole, who came in for the final 30.2 seconds the Warriors needed 3 seconds. The only player who had no reservoir NBA Experienced but eligible to play in crunch time was Anthony Lamb, a 24-year-old wing who went undrafted in 2020 and snagged a two-way spot late in Warriors training camp.

It still ended in defeat. It was their seventh straight road loss to start the season and a missed opportunity to inch closer to .500, where they could go back to the developing part of their plan.

As it stands, the Warriors have four first-round picks on the bench and none of them sniff the court once crunch time hits. It doesn’t look or feel durable. But the most troubling part is that when they lean on their veterans, they don’t have enough. They are 0-7 on the road because those are the toughest games to win in the NBA, and Golden State is playing them essentially shorthanded.

The season is 13 games old, too early to make grand announcements. If they figure things out heading into the postseason, it will be old news come March.

But the direction the Warriors are headed is clear. The two-timeline plan looks much more perpendicular than parallel. Clash rather than complement. They cannot expect their young players to develop and win. And even when they focus only on winning, without development, their commitment to youth leaves them with many holes.

Something has to give. Either they need to realign this list to provide more immediate support to their seniors. Or Kerr will have to swallow the mistakes and let one or two youngsters play, win or lose. It’s the only way they can both be ready for when the Warriors really need them in the postseason.

Undoubtedly, the ol’ heads on the roster could play better. That would buy everyone more time.

Veterans had a chance to lose of kings. Curry and Green came on, and a 9-point deficit turned into a 111-109 lead Clay Thompson Mark 5:11 3. In the past, it was all but a done deal. Waves of fighters will arrive and opponents will die. Champions were flexible, and annoying kings were supposed to submit. But the opposite happened.

The Kings trap Curry, who torched Sacramento for 47 points a week ago, and force someone else to beat them. And the Warriors didn’t have anyone who could. At least four of the Warriors’ losses have seen their stars beat down the stretch. But Curry said the important part is how they approach those crunch-time moments.

Sunday was a typical blueprint for this young season. The Warriors’ starters built a 15-point lead, 13 at the end of the first quarter, and handed it off to their second unit. By the time Curry, Green and Thompson made a layup at the 8:04 mark of the second quarter, the lead was down to 44-39. The Kings, who had been manned for 12 minutes, found life.

Sacramento roared and found its rhythm. The Kings outscored the Warriors 72-52 in the second and third quarters, then went on a 7-0 run early in the fourth. So now, as Curry points out, their opponents are infused with fresh lungs of speed after eating into the Warriors’ reserves. These teams are more difficult to beat. even Detroit And Orlando, two of the worst teams in the East, looked strong in those conditions. So did kings.

“I think more than extending those windows of play, especially this early in the season,” Curry said, “because that’s where you really build confidence in what you’re doing when you can capitalize on those good things. The meat of the game runs throughout. … It might be a close game, but the confidence and the flow of the game is so different. We rallied from 9 down and I think took a 2-point lead. It’s a pretty electric fourth quarter that doesn’t go our way down the stretch. But my focus goes to those middle parts of the game that, you know, we’re making the game a lot harder than we need to be.”

It looks just like more and more green.

About 13 months ago, he made headlines when he said that, historically, mixing inexperience with experience hasn’t worked before in the NBA. It looks like he was wrong as the Warriors went on to win the championship. But they won it all by putting young players. As the team progressed, the challenge became more difficult, and inexperienced players played less. It was the elders who conferred this title.

The Warriors have 16 players under contract, including two-way players who spend time with the Santa Cruz G-League team. Eight of the 16 are 26-and-up, and that’s all but JaMychal Green Have a championship ring. The other half are 25 and under with three years of experience or less. The divide between them is widening rather than narrowing.

Put Poole on the veteran side, as he was crucial during a championship run. That’s nine on the winning side of the timeline.

Some behind the scenes scoffed at Green’s take, pointing to great teams with young players who contributed. But Green’s point wasn’t really about individual young players. An inexperienced player can work when he is able to fold in a winning plan. Green was also talking more about the impossibility of competing for a championship while simultaneously preparing for the future.

This season already looks like more proof. When it’s time to win, as the stakes get higher and the odds tougher, the young push away from the rotation. Because young people don’t win in the NBA. Not at the championship-contending level the franchise expects. The Warriors’ last five picks, while clearly talented, seem to have a hard time fitting into the Warriors’ preferred style.

go deep

The Warriors, now 0-7 on the road, suffered familiar errors in losing to the Kings

It’s only been 13 games, but the concerning part for the Warriors is that they no longer seem to have enough to carry the burden on the winning side of the timeline. One of these nine is 37 years old Andre Iguodala, which is mostly being saved for next season. So that’s eight. Jamichal Green, an eight-year veteran who has proven himself a valuable NBA role player, has already lost his spot in the rotation. So seven players from the older half of the roster. Donte DiVincenzo Has solidified and been slowed by injuries, but he still couldn’t make a difference when they landed him in free agency. And Thompson, one of the pillar superstars, is out the door this season.

Again, it’s early, but JaMychal Green and DiVincenzo aren’t ready to lose Otto Porter Jr, Gary Peyton 2 and Nemanja Bjelica, who along with Iguodala helped the Warriors to an 18-2 start last season. The Warriors are even absent Damion Lee And Juan Toscano-AndersonWho will likely play now but will be due for more minutes elsewhere as the Warriors get young.

The absence of young players is hurting the Warriors. It’s having a lot of them.

The proliferation of youth is evident among the limited strength on the bench. Formerly known for their hype and elaborate celebrations, the Warriors don’t have any veterans who have the experience to power the team while sitting out. It’s not really their fault, but the Warriors’ youth often look more introverted and even boring than they lock every second. They wait for their turn at lottery picks, not veteran reserves.

The burst of youth is evident in how the Warriors move early. They don’t have the smart veteran players to slow things down, take control of the ball and the team. Poole is still learning how to lead the second unit.

“For the most part, coming off the bench, we were an elder statesman, if you will,” said Draymond Green. “It’s different now. And the reality is the first guy you come off the bench with is usually JP — and JP is a sixth starter. So that’s a different feeling. … Where it was a different type of crime, it’s the same if you will. I think we have to figure it out in that second unit. What you’re used to is Steph going out of the game and the whole offense changes, and it’s more set. But with Jordan, what you get with Steph is still going to be the same.

And playing with Curry is his own brand of basketball. And with Poole as the Curry of that unit, he’s surrounded by players who aren’t adept at that style, which is full of reads and cuts, passes and movements, screens and flairs. Remember a few years ago when Shaun Livingston and Iguodala would lead the second unit and they would walk the ball, run a wide set to get the ball to Livingston in the post or David West at the elbow? They ate up the clock and changed the flow of the game.

Led by Poole, the Warriors didn’t run a ball-control offense that limited opportunities. Wiseman and Kuminga in the post and Moody with their size and athleticism had the vision of such a thing. But putting them in court together is too much to ask.

The Warriors’ plan is to get enough wins right away to put their season in jeopardy. Then, they can mingle with the youth. To do this, they lean heavily on their elders.

It was as if a big play from Curry was as close to a guarantee as they could get for a win. Curry lit it up and Draymond Green was playing great on defense but it was a lock. Now both are happening, and it’s still not enough.

If Thompson gets hot and Poole finds a rhythm, that seems to be enough. If JaMychal Green and DiVincenzo adapt and become mentors in their careers, that could go a long way. If a couple of young players find their way soon, that could do the trick. Or maybe it’s one of each.

Either way, something has to give. Because the Warriors can’t win playing young, and they can’t win enough without them. And nothing about that seems sustainable.


Related reading

Anthony Slater: The Warriors, now 0-7 on the road, suffered familiar flaws in the loss to the Kings
NBA Power Rankings:
The warriors move up to a place; Good win/bad loss for each team

(Photo: Ed Szczepanski/USA Today)




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