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

SACRAMENTO – With 9:03 left, after a fastball by Daron Fox 7-0 spurt in 55 seconds capped the host, the Warriors Coach Steve Kerr called time out. He couldn’t wait any longer. Stephen Curry And the Draymond Green He must come back again. This, in fact, was going to be another heavy minute night, and the urgency of a third match in a row was their clue.

Warriors need victories. Their chance of a Sunday night was fading away. So it was buying time. This means, once again, that it’s time for the little buttons to sit down.

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

It’s hard not to miss messages. Subconsciously loud. This should have been the year that the youngsters on the roster took on bigger roles, stepping forward in their destiny to one day become the stewards of this championship franchise. But when it’s time to win, they have to sit back.

James Wiseman, the third-year center fielder and former runner-up were snapped from the rotation after their five-game skid sent the team into despair mode. straight ahead Musa Modi, a second-year lottery pick, joined Wiseman for the last two Gorilla-Glued games off the bench. straight ahead Jonathan Cuminga, the other lottery pick for the second year, managed a few stints in the early parts of the games. But when it gets real, he’s right next to them.

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

The Warriors went with six players for most of those last nine minutes and a changeup. Five of the six have championship rings — six out of seven if you add Paul, who came in the last 30.2 seconds when the Warriors needed 3 seconds. The only player who didn’t have a tank out NBA It was Anthony Lamb, the 24-year-old winger who went sackless in 2020 and snatched a two-way spot late into Warriors training camp, but was worth playing in a tough time.

It still ends in defeat. It was the seventh straight road loss to start the season and a missed opportunity to get close to . 500, as they can get back into the developing part of their plan.

As it stands, the Warriors have four first-round draft picks on the bench and none of them sniff the field once crunch time hits, if at all. This does not look or feel sustainable. But the most disturbing part is that when they rely on veterans, they don’t have enough for them. They’re 0-7 on the road because these are the hardest games to win in the NBA, and Golden State plays it pretty shorthand.

The season is 13 games old, and it’s too early to make big statements. This will all be old news in March if they figure things out as they head into the postseason.

But the direction the Warriors are taking is clear. The plan for the two timelines looks more perpendicular than parallel. collision rather than complement. They don’t seem to be developing their young players and expecting to win. And even when they only focus on winning, without developing, their commitment to youth has left them with plenty of holes.

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Something must be given. Either they’ll have to rearrange this list to give veterans more immediate help. Or Kerr will have to swallow mistakes and commit to playing a guy or two who either wins or loses. It’s the only way either of them can be ready when the Warriors really need it later in the season.

Undoubtedly, the bosses on the list could play better. This should buy everyone more time.

Veterans had the opportunity to beat kings. Curry and Green came through, turning a 9-point deficit into a 111-109 lead after A.J Clay Thompson 3 at 5:11. In retrospect, this was all but a done deal. The wave of warriors will come, and the opponents will wither. The heroes bowed, and the annoying kings were supposed to submit. But the opposite happened.

The Kings cornered Curry, who set Sacramento on fire for 47 points a week earlier, and forced someone else to beat them. And the warriors had no one else who could. At least four of the Warriors’ losses have come with their stars outrunning the distance. But Curry said the crucial part was how they got to those rough moments.

Sunday was a popular scheme for this young season. The Warriors players built a 15-point lead, 13 by the end of the first quarter, and handed it over to their second unit. When Curry, Green, and Thompson stormed back to 8:04 of the second quarter, the lead fell to 44-39. Tackled for 12 minutes, the Kings found life.

Sacramento bounced back and found its rhythm. The Kings outscored the Warriors 72-52 through the second and third quarters combined, then went 7-0 early in the fourth quarter. So far, as Curry pointed out, their opponent is on alert, filled with fresh lungs of momentum after feasting on the Warriors’ reserves. These teams are harder to beat. until Detroit And the Orlando, two of the worst teams in the East, looked great in the circumstances. So did the kings.

“I think about those windows into the game more than its extension, especially early in the season,” Curry said, “because that’s where you really build confidence in what you’re doing when you can take advantage of kind of those good things that run all over the meat of the game. … You might be A close game, but the confidence and the flow of the game is a lot different. We worked our way back from the 9th down and I think we took a two-point lead. It was a great fourth quarter not getting in our way. But my focus is on the middle parts of the game that, you know, make the game harder Much more than we need.”

It seems more and more that Green was right.

About 13 months ago, he made headlines when he said that, historically, the combination of experience and inexperience had never worked before in the NBA. Apparently it was incorrect considering the Warriors won the championship. But they won everything by sitting out the young players. As the team progressed, the challenge became more difficult, and inexperienced players played less. It was the veterans who handed the title.

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The Warriors have 16 players under contract, including the two-way players who split with the Santa Cruz G-League team. Eight of the 16 are 26 and over, and all those BUT Jamical Green You have a championship ring. The other half is 25 and under with three years of experience or less. The gap between them seems to be increasing rather than shrinking.

Put Paul on the expert side, as he has been vital during the championship race. That’s nine on the winning side of the schedule.

Some behind the scenes laughed at Green’s attitude, pointing to great teams with young players who contributed. But Greene’s point wasn’t really about the young players. An inexperienced player can act when he is able to obey the plan to win. Green was talking more about the impossibility of competing for the championship while preparing for the future at the same time.

This season it feels like more proof already. When it’s time to win, as the stakes are high and the hardships are high, the little ones are taken out of the rotation. Because young people don’t win the NBA. Not at the level of championship contender this franchise would expect. The Warriors’ final five draft picks, despite their obvious talent, seem to be having a hard time adjusting to the Warriors’ favored style.

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The Warriors, now 0-7 on the road, face the familiar disadvantage of losing to the Kings

It’s only been 13 games, but the worrisome part for the Warriors is that they no longer have enough of the winning side of the schedule to carry the load. One of these nine is 37 years old Andre Iguodala, which is mostly kept for later in the season. That’s eight. JaMychal Green, an eight-year-old veteran who has proven himself to be an important player in the NBA, has already lost his spot in the rotation. That’s seven players in the larger half of the list. Donte Divincenzo He was solid and was slow with injury, but he wasn’t a difference maker, yet they dealt with him when they landed him in free agency. And Thompson, one of the superstars, has been knocked out of the gates this season.

Again, it’s early, but JaMychal Green and DiVincenzo haven’t made up for the loss Otto Porter JrAnd the Gary Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica, who with Iguodala helped the Warriors reach an 18-2 start last season. Even the warriors are missing out Damion Lee And the Juan Toscano Andersonwho is likely to be playing now but left for another few minutes elsewhere as the Warriors are young.

It’s the lack of young players that hurts the Warriors. She has a lot of them.

Youth spread is evident in the limited energy on the bench. Formerly known for their fanfare and elaborate celebrations, the Warriors didn’t have the experience of injecting energy into a team even while sitting out. It’s not really their fault, but young Warriors often seem more introverted and even sad than locked up every second. They are lottery picks waiting their turn, not with spare experience.

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The prevalence of youth is evident in how the Warriors blow off the early strings. They do not have the seasoned veteran to slow everything down, to take the ball and composure in his hands. Paul is still learning how to pilot the second unit.

“For the most part, when we come off the bench we’ve had a kind of old statesman, if you will,” said Draymond Green. “It’s different now. And the fact is, the first person you sit down with is usually JP — and JP is the sixth rookie. So that feels different. … While it used to be kind of a different insult, if you will, it’s more like it.” I think we have to figure that out in that second unit. What I’m used to is Steve getting out of the game and the whole offense changes, it becomes more combos. But with Jordan, it’s still going to be more similar to what you get with Steve.”

And playing with Curry is trademark basketball. And with Paul being that unit’s Curry, he’s got a few players around him who aren’t well-versed in this style, full of reads, cuts, passes, movement, screens, and flares. Remember a few years ago when Shaun Livingston and Iguodala were leading the second unit, walking the ball up, running a complex combination to get the ball to Livingston at the post or David West at the elbow? They ate the clock and changed the flow of the game.

With Poole at the helm, the Warriors don’t run a ball-control attack that limits chances. They had visions of something like this with Wiseman in position and Kuminga and Moody giving them size and athleticism. But asking to put them in court together is too much.

The Warriors’ plan is to get enough wins in the near future to take the threat out of their season. After that, they can go back to socializing with the youngsters. To do this, they rely heavily on veterans.

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

If Thompson heats up and Paul finds rhythm, it looks like it will be enough. If JaMychal Green and DiVincenzo adapt and become the benefactors of their professions, that could go a long way. If one or two young players find their way around soon, this might do the trick. Or it could be one of both.

Either way, something has to give. Because the Warriors can’t win by playing little guys, and they don’t win enough without playing them. And nothing about it feels sustainable.


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(Photo: Ed Szczepanski/USA Today)

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