Despite securing a victory against the San Antonio Spurs, bringing their season record to 8-9 and In-Season Tournament play to 2-1, the Golden State Warriors have experienced a tumultuous two weeks. Persistent challenges have emerged, but the team appears committed to weathering the storm and maintaining trust in their system. While some positive moments have surfaced, the overall performance in the last 11 games has been less than reassuring for the organization.
The ongoing question of whether the Warriors have a Draymond Green problem persists, and his recent incident with Rudy Gobert adds to his history of intensity, leading to a five-game suspension. Despite Green’s absence, Golden State managed a 2-3 record and navigated the In-Season Tournament.
While Green has the potential for exceptional performances, showcasing elite defense and chemistry with Curry and Thompson, his volatility remains a concern. The Gobert incident wasn’t solely his fault, but his actions escalated the situation, prompting league intervention. While his intent to protect teammates is commendable, the repercussions on the team’s future can’t be overlooked.
Green’s importance to the Warriors is undeniable, and an extended suspension, especially in a playoff series against a team with skilled bigs, could pose significant challenges for Golden State.
Considering the relationship with officials, drawing a parallel to the Chris Paul-Scott Foster situation, a combination of Paul and Green might not be ideal for referees. There could be concerns about officiating smoothly when both players are on the court.
The personal animosity between Paul and Foster is evident, and while preventing Foster from officiating Warriors games might help, the underlying issue remains. Given Paul’s history of interactions with officials and Green’s recent incidents, a referee may not anticipate officiating a game involving both players, and their patience could be strained in such a scenario.
Shifting focus to Andrew Wiggins, it’s evident that he hasn’t fully showcased his capabilities this season. The version of Wiggins that contributed to the Warriors’ 2022 title has been a rare sight, with a notable exception being a 31-point performance in a loss to Oklahoma City. The Warriors’ wing play, particularly when coupled with Thompson’s struggles, has left much to be desired this season. Unlike Thompson, Wiggins appears to be grappling with a sense of discomfort on the court.
Andrew Wiggins’ diminished scoring at 11.8 points per game with 42/26/56 shooting splits, coupled with reduced defensive contributions, raises concerns for the Warriors. With his current performance, it becomes challenging for Mike Dunleavy to justify the $24 million price tag, especially as the trade deadline and Thompson’s expiring contract approach. Wiggins might face uncertainty in the roster given these considerations.
On a more positive note, one of Golden State’s recent bright spots is Dario Saric. Despite being on a minimum contract, Saric has assumed a significant role, offering size and skill off the bench. His effective collaboration with Chris Paul in pick-and-roll/pop situations has been notable, averaging 18.3 points in the last three games.
It’s encouraging to see the emergence of young talents like Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis, who have become valuable options when rest is needed for other players. Moses Moody’s performance is noteworthy, offering glimpses of what the team misses in Andre Iguodala.
Despite the current challenges, the Warriors appear confident about the long run. With months until the trade deadline, they have the flexibility to assess the situation and make necessary moves. However, maintaining a winning streak is crucial to staying competitive in the deep Western Conference.