Steve Kerr suggests an impending decision concerning Trayce Jackson-Davis and Moses Moody

Sunday’s embarrassing defeat against the Boston Celtics didn’t halt the Golden State Warriors’ momentum. They bounced back impressively on Wednesday at Chase Center, delivering one of their strongest performances of the season by dominating the Milwaukee Bucks with a resounding 125-90 victory in front of their enthusiastic home crowd, surpassing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and their team.

Trayce Jackson-Davis emerged as the standout performer for the Warriors, stepping up during a crucial third-quarter stretch to prevent a potential collapse after Milwaukee narrowed the lead from 20 points to six. The rookie center made impactful plays, including blocking Giannis Antetokounmpo on defense and delivering powerful dunks on offense, showcasing his defensive prowess and effectiveness as a scoring threat in pick-and-roll situations against one of the NBA’s most formidable opponents.

Moses Moody continued to impress, even after returning to the bench following Andrew Wiggins’ comeback from a four-game absence. Although not as influential as Jackson-Davis in this game, Moody showcased his tenacious on-ball defense against Damian Lillard and displayed overall physicality, building on the progress he demonstrated while starting part-time during Golden State’s successful 3-1 road trip.

Moody solidified his place in the Warriors’ rotation, fully occupying Dario Saric’s minutes against Milwaukee. Additionally, Jackson-Davis, who entered the game before Kevon Looney in the second half, is also set to assume a consistent role in the lineup, marking a significant personnel adjustment that Steve Kerr highlighted post-game.

“We’ll still need Looney for certain matchups,” Kerr remarked. “I have full confidence in him. However, we need to prioritize giving Trayce more playing time to prepare him for the playoffs. He requires more reps and experience. His performance tonight showcased his ability to score and defend, offering us a unique advantage. Therefore, we’ve decided to increase his minutes and elevate Moses into a larger role too. Both of them were outstanding tonight.”

Despite Kerr’s preference for a 10-man rotation throughout the season, he has frequently expanded it to 11 players recently, recognizing the exceptional depth of his team during its remarkable midseason resurgence. However, as the 2023-24 stretch run approaches, it’s unlikely that this trend will persist.

“It’ll most likely be 10. Playing 11 becomes challenging,” Kerr explained regarding the Warriors’ rotation. “Although we’ve been using 11 players, if we’re going to increase Trayce’s minutes, it’s more probable that we’ll stick to 10. We’ll aim to experiment with different combinations. With three-quarters of the season behind us, we’ve had ample opportunities to test various lineups. I believe we’re in a good position now, with a strong starting lineup that has performed well recently, and a fully healthy bench comprising many talented players. As you witnessed tonight, the bench made a significant impact.”

Golden State’s starting lineup is established, as are the reserve roles for Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, and Gary Payton II. With Trayce Jackson-Davis and Moses Moody expected to receive consistent minutes moving forward, it leaves Kevon Looney and Dario Saric on the fringe of the Warriors’ rotation.

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The team has faced size concerns throughout the season, and sidelining both Looney and Saric exacerbates this issue, as it leaves the team with a smaller lineup. Perimeter positions will primarily be occupied by guards without explosive athleticism, while players like Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Gary Payton II are likely to spend significant time at power forward. Additionally, the center position will be manned by Draymond Green and Trayce Jackson-Davis, forming one of the smaller center duos in the league.

Golden State will indeed need to play larger than their actual size to compensate for the absence of Looney and Saric in the lineup. While neither player is known for elite rim protection or flashy finishes, the Warriors can address their absence by emphasizing collective defensive efforts and relentless rebounding. Draymond Green suggests that their depth will alleviate the strain on individual players, allowing everyone to maximize their contributions without being overextended.

“I believe Steve is doing an excellent job of managing minutes and assembling effective lineups,” Green remarked. “As players, it’s our responsibility to give our all when on the court, without taking any plays off, knowing that we won’t be logging heavy minutes anyway.”

“I think that’s one of the beautiful things about this,” Green elaborated. “When you’re on the court, you should be giving it your all, flying around and playing with high energy because you’re not logging heavy minutes. So, make the most of your time out there and leave it all on the court.”





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