Getty Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reacts.
As losses pile up, everything is now on the table for Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has hinted at a roster shakeup.
“Yeah, that’s a possibility,” Kerr told reporters after the Warriors suffered their fourth straight loss on Tuesday night. “You know, we love the lineup that we’ve put together over the last few years and we want to give this unit every opportunity to get going and we know when [Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson] If they shoot the ball well, this formation makes perfect sense.”
But they’re not shooting well early this season.
Thompson is shooting just 42.5% while Wiggins is hitting just 39.5% of his shots.
Last season, the Warriors’ starting lineup of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney had the best net rating of plus-21.9 among lineups with at least 100 minutes played together.
“We would have two full seasons to show for that,” Kerr said of her old starting team.
But the Warriors couldn’t live in the past and hope to extend their rapidly closing title window with Curry.
Dario Saric as floor spacer
So who could be the X-factor that could shake up Curry’s struggling supporting cast in the starting lineup?
It’s not Chris Paul, who is perfect as the Warriors’ sixth man at this point in his career.
“If it’s difficult for us to score, it’s Dario [Saric] “He changes the board with his pick-and-pop and his ability to stretch the floor, and so anything is possible at this point,” Kerr said.
Saric has played well in the Warriors’ last two games, averaging 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. But more than his eye-popping numbers, Saric proved Kerr’s point when he started Tuesday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Croatian journeyman pulled Rudy Gobert away from the field, opening up the Warriors’ opportunity to penetrate, which rookie Brandin Podziemski took advantage of in the first three quarters.
Brandin Podziemski deserves his accolades
Podziemski’s great play has also made Kerr rethink his rotation going forward.
“He’s going to play every night,” Kerr said after Podziemski posted a career-high 23 points against the NBA’s best defense.
Podziemski had played just 28 minutes in four games before Tuesday night. He ended up playing a game-high 39 minutes, unheard of for a rookie under Kerr’s leadership.
“I think he can play as a backup point guard,” Kerr said of Podziemski. “But I think he’s just a basketball player. So we can play it anywhere. The beauty of him is that the game connects when he’s out there. I’m excited to see him play with Steph and Klay. Just by the way he plays and the way the ball moves, he’s going to get these guys a lot of shots. So we’ll see. We have to find out.”
Saric wants to play with Podziemski, whom he describes as “brave” and a “great fighter.”
“When you see a fighter like that, you want to fight with him,” Saric said of the spirited newcomer.
Podziemski will play heavy minutes again with Curry still out for Thursday night’s game against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder. Saric will soak up Green’s minutes after the fiery forward was suspended for five games for a chokehold on Rudy Gobert.
The emergence of the rookie-veteran duo could mean Gary Payton II, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody will have to split less playing time.
Erle Almo is a basketball journalist who covers the New York Knicks and Golden State Warirors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and now lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo
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