Game Thread: Curry out, but Paschall, Wiseman are "probable" against Sixers
No Curry, no Embiid as Warriors take on powerhouse Philly
Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid will be out tonight, but the Golden State Warriors are going to get a bit of a lucky break, with both Eric Paschall and James Wiseman officially upgraded to “probable.”
Even with the Warriors frontcourt rotation intact, the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers still enter tonight’s game as the favorites behind Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris.
We did get a Curry update this morning, and though Curry isn’t coming back tonight, it sounds like this injury isn’t going to hold the Warriors’ best player out of action for much longer.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (22-21) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (30-13)
WHEN: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 // 7:00 pm PST
WATCH: NBCSBA, TNT
Warriors still working out how to make it all work
It’s no secret that when Curry sits, the Warriors offense craters. Fixing that issue will go a long way towards ensuring that Golden State finds itself chasing the sixth seed, rather than chasing a spot in the play-in tournament.
One of the problems is that two of the most reliable wing players for Golden State, aren’t necessarily stable performers.
Now, on it’s own, this isn’t necessarily a problem. Back when we were at GSOM I spent a ton of time looking into player shooting performance, and though I can’t find the exact article now (probably because it’s buried in an un-labeled preview like this), I do recall that Curry was a shockingly stable shooter, and Klay Thompson was extremely streaky. Point being that being streaky isn’t a preventative measure against elite shooting performances, but when you combine Oubre and Wiggins propensity for going cold, it can look strikingly similar to just being bad when things line up wrong.
But the Warriors are looking to the future as well, and it looks like the Jordan Poole experiment is going swimmingly.
Jordan Poole has the second best scoring efficiency. His .651 True Shooting percentage (TS%) is functionally equal to Kevon Looney’s mark of .653, and is a whole lot harder to come by given the drastic differences in how those two players function within the team offense.
Poole is also filling that bench scorer role that Warriors fans have been clammoring for since Leandro Barbosa. Here’s the total points scored per 36 minutes on the court:
Considering the efficiency he’s been scoring at, and the overall output, Poole is playing his way into minutes in a way that will extend beyond the current season.
The Kerr-fuffle around that KD quote
In case you missed it, coach Steve Kerr got a little bit hot discussing how a recent podcast quote was spun by the media. The media member has since apologized, but I wanted to dig into this one for just a minute, because it’s the sort of nuanced issue that is best served in a long-form, open platform like this one.
The issue that Kerr has with the particular instance is that he feels like his quote was mis-conveyed in order to generate clicks - a serious concern with the local publication in question. That said, the quote itself is actually in context of Shiller’s original summary. Kerr (rightly, probably) was pointing out that the last dynasty year wasn’t especially fun, or upbeat.
So, Durant replied “Hilarious” on Twitter, and a bunch of aggregation started happening. But you can listen to the bulk of the quoted segment here and judge for yourself.
This is just my personal opinion, and I don’t have any special insights into the people or dynamics involved here but here goes… Kerr wasn’t shading Durant specifically, but it seems almost more dishonest to attempt to spin it like Durant had no role in the lack of what Kerr calls “good vibes.” Whether or not Durant had one foot out the door all season or not, there was certainly a tension there. And while it’s easy to dunk on someone like Kerr saying that he will prefer good vibes on a losing team to going through what the final dynasty year was, he’s not wrong.
Coming back in with anger because of how a quote was portrayed is fine, and always within the original speakers’ rights, but there are plenty of fingers to point here. There was a bad vibe in that last year, the players have already talked about it extensively, to pretend like this is in no way related to Durant is disingenuous.
All that said, it feels great to see a clickbaiter called out for clickbaiting - but in this case, I don’t think it was really a misrepresentation. The one phrase I saw that resonated the most with me personally was that Shiller “didn’t let the unspoken words stay unspoken.”
Sixers starting road trip with a trap game?
Things were going great in Philadelphia until Joel Embiid landed awkwardly and bent his knee the wrong way. But even without their star big man, the Sixers are doing just fine. Perched atop the East, the 76ers are demonstrating the sort of flexibility and resiliency that is required of a championship team.
With Embiid down, Dwight Howard has stepped into a bigger role, and is playing well. It would have been more shocking had he not been coming of an excellent late-career push with the Lakers, but still, seeing old man Howard still doing damage is good for the game.
Seth Curry is out as well (ankle), and the Sixers have found a willing stand-in with third year player, Shake Milton stepping into the starting role. He’s had 15, 28, and then 21 points in the team’s last three games, and will be a potential concern on the perimeter tonight with his ability to attack the basket.
Wiseman is back, and the Dubs can’t be stopped! Warriors win a tough one in OT 121-120.