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Why it’s hard to play Wiseman right now
[+notes/quotes/video from Warriors-Timberwolves]
After every game I actually spend a lot of time on our YouTube channel’s comments to try and keep things civil, especially after a loss. It’s great because using the YouTube Studio app, it’s easy to see what’s coming in across all videos. And I do block a lot of whiny people who just complain and never contribute anything positive, go tell it on the mountain. But let’s not draw attention to those people. I wrote a lot last night and I usually do whenever the Golden State Warriors screw up. Note: some of the stuff below is repeated. Literally each paragraph was a reply comment.
So I’m trying something new and pasting those paragraphs here, just in case it helps you cope with what’s going on right now. Normally I would’ve had this article lead off with the best quote of the night, which fwiw was Stephen Curry saying, “I hold a responsibility” for the loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves (see below).
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The rest of this post, after the stuff I wrote on our YouTube channel — which was dominated by “please play James Wiseman” talk — consists of the usual notes, quotes and videos from Minneapolis, in chronological order, as you would expect per usual…
WHY WISEMAN ISN’T THE ANSWER
Sigh. As a former coach at the amateur level, I’m still trying to find the easiest way to explain this. Can you imagine Wiseman being added to the rotation of Game 6 in Boston? How many minutes would he have played, who in the rotation would he have replaced, and what would you predict would be the end result of that Game 6 replayed with Wiseman for ___?
How would you integrate said offensive-minded big man? You realize it took Kevon Looney years to be comfortable playing in sync with the Hall of Famers? I think it’s time to come to grips that the Foundational Six simply need to play better. There is no realistic external factor to that that will move the needle for this team. And tonight, as Steph admitted, it was his fault. It is all mental, at least.
THE “IN ALL FAIRNESS” TO WISEMAN ARGUMENT
There are many facets to this, but in “fairness” to Joe Lacob, Bob Myers and Steve Kerr, Wiseman got injured, missed 1.5 years, they spent millions, why the heck should they trade him? They invested in him, he’s actually made progress on the court, but now his development doesn’t work with the survival mode that they’re in, so why is it on Joe Bob Steve to do what’s best for James? What’s best for GSW never happened. So I don’t buy that “fairness” argument. Sorry.
ON THE FRUSTRATIONS WITH POOLE
Benching Jordan Poole just because of his turnovers doesn’t make a lot of sense, either, although you’re seeing Donte DiVincenzo close games when we’re ahead and need more defense than offense. There’s three Hall-of-Famers, an all-star and Loon will get a statue too. JP is a guard, so you can’t sub out him for Wise. It is what it is. We’re in a state of survival right now aiming for that sixth seed so there’s no time to wait for James to develop. It’s not gonna play out like a video game. The NBA IRL (“in real life”) is way harder than NBA2K.
ON WHAT WE MIGHT BE WITNESSING
I’m beginning to think core guy are all just getting older and the NBA is getting younger so it’s harder to drum up that energy. Also the eight Finals runs. That’s like, what, 25 extra games x 8 runs? Sheesh! But they still only need to get 6th seed or better to be a tough out in a seven-game series.
That’s the thing, maybe we’re just observing that they’re not a good regular season team. Simply can’t find the energy to lock in versus the Pistons, Hornets, Wizards, Magic, Bulls, Spurs, Rockets, and yes, T’Wolves of the league. We all know the playoffs is a different game, but just getting through the regular season, maybe this is just how it is now with this parity. And so you got older guys and it’s gonna be a slog through the regular season but we all know GSW is a tough out in a seven-game series. So it’ll be interesting what happens next season in the regular season. They’ll show up in the playoffs though, assuming they get in the top sixth and don’t screw up if they end up 7th or worse. And that’s the issue now. We’ll see. Good news is, I don’t see there being any other dynasties ever again. So that’s what I’ve learned this season so far.
It has been a heckuva ride. There’s still something to LEARN from the ups and downs. Is it maybe the age is catching up even from a mental “lock in” standpoint? What do you do next season to deal with that, if that is so? We’ve never seen something like this before. It’s kind of fascinating, if you loosen the grip a little bit and look around. At least I’m beginning to think that this is the last dynasty of the NBA. The next non-Warriors champion is gonna find it REALLY tough to repeat! I can’t wait to observe that too, hopefully not too soon though.
Yeah, check some of the other comments on my theory that the vets are just getting older and the rest of the NBA getting better at the same time. Maybe we are just observing this the first time because we’ve never really seen a dynasty in this environment before. Anyways, we should be alright. I’m still confident we can get the sixth seed.
TO THE NAYSAYERS OF WHAT I DO
This channel actually has its roots in Twitter, but I left that zombie apocalypse app a few years ago. YouTube has been great. The positivity that we have on this channel, especially during the game livestreams, outweighs the negativity by a lot. It’s actually pretty awesome to see in real-time. We are the anti-thesis of Twitter lol. Hope you can join us someday on the livestreams.
To the dude (it’s always dudes, we never get whiny women, why is that?) who said, “I get it, you only want homers”: uhh, one of our most loyal livestream chatters is actually a Spurs fan first, from San Antonio, Ryan B. We all have mutual respect because he comments with a level head and always shows gratitude for the game. He’s learned a lot from his Spurs and enjoys having the Warriors and his second-favorite team because he’s learning a lot from them as well. Man, y’all are really stressed out out there, always in a combative state. You can’t be in that frame of mind to see what’s around you and be in a state of learning or creativity or gratitude. You’re gonna have to stumble your way around if you don’t wanna join us, so best wishes.
DISCLAIMER: These are all just notes for my main workflow of YouTube videos, mostly transcribed by me shortly after the interviews and during my coverage of postgame on our livestreams (!). Sometimes I’ll just use what’s tweeted by beatwriters, as listed. The links to the tweets are not available because sometimes I don’t use the full tweet and just having a ton of tweets on this website imo isn’t aesthetically pleasing and gets away from the main goal: transferring information (not so much entertainment) to the brains of DubNation asap.
• Steph Curry postgame locker room game recap: “You gotta accept it… I hold a lot of responsibility for not being able to get it done. But we’ve not let it keep us down for too long… I threw a tough turnover… got the crowd into it… miscommunication… it’s just basketball from that point… shot that I can take and make, just missed it… reminder of little things on the road that’s required to win and we didn’t do it… If I make that last shot things might be different… now we’re all trying to search for what the answers are.”
• Klay Thompson postgame recap: “We blew a 14-point lead?”
• On this happening four or five times: “Common thread would be the inability to close games like we’re used to… being more fundamentally sound.”
• On how to get there: “practice, be attentive every possession and playing with a lot of grit.”
• On what the huddle was like: “Just like they would be when we’re down 14… ball movement… defense on a string.”
• Draymond Green on Naz Reid: “made some good plays… got in the pocket.”
• Steve Kerr postgame recap: “We had control of the game and then we just kind of gift-wrapped it, not to take anything away from them… we threw the ball away, we took really difficult shots… we got what we deserved.”
• On what went wrong: “Execution. I know it’s just a catch phrase… these are the best players in the world. If you wanna hand the ball away… D’Lo got three threes… we’ve probably lost idk five, six games… we’re not good enough to win without executing… in the fourth quarter on the road.”
• On how to correct the problems: “You show film and you practice… we’ll continue to try to address it.”
• On if it was fatigue: “No… you take the overtime away you have them in their normal range… not boxing out, not corralling rebounds… shot turnovers.”
• On who’s playing the b2b tomorrow in Denver: “I have no idea.”
(N/A) • It’s a party in the Wolves locker room right now. (Dane Moore)
2:40 • Chris Finch postgame on what Austin Rivers does to Steph Curry: “you gotta get into his space, even if he’s gonna beat ya once in awhile. You gotta make him work. The key to guarding Steph is having a high motor and being able to chase and chase and chase and then being able to kinda cut down his space when he’s in front of you. He’s gonna make some tough threes and he’s an incredible player but those are threes you can live with. It’s when all hell breaks loose when you kinda over-react to Steph sometimes. And he’s (Rivers) got the composure to sometimes to not do that. I think that’s key.”
10:57 • D’Angelo Russell postgame on what they did to come back from down double-digits: “Knowing the stats, that team leads the NBA in turnovers so knowing that they would give us a few opportunities to get back in it as well.”
(N/A) • Anthony Edwards on GSW's pace: “We was tired, man. They just play fast. Steph don’t stop. He played the whole 4th and didn’t stop moving, didn’t stop running around. If I play the whole 4th, when I pass it up, I’m probably going to stand still in the corner and catch my breath.” (Dane Moore)
(N/A) • Naz Reid when asked about not backing down when Draymond Green was guarding him: “I see anybody, I'm not backing down. Like I told you before, the confidence in my team and coaches, man. If I see you, I'm goin at you. That's just what it is.” (Dane Moore)
[SUBSTACK VIDEO EMBED OF LIVESTREAMS NOT WORKING]
0:00 Gobert is out, so is KAT, but I think this actually helps the Wolves matchup better vs us
3:15 Kerr's topics in the pregame: Wiggins, Iguodala, Donte chemistry the last 6 weeks, on Klay being more of a 3-4 rather than a 2-3, and the small-ball starting lineup (via Slater)
7:30 on Wiseman not playing because the Foundational Six not taking games seriously, therefore we got to chasing wins, therefore the rotation shrunk, therefore no minutes Wiseman, e.g., if we had Denver's record, trust me, Wiseman would be playing 9 mins per game
30:00 3min15 Steph Curry 2nd foul, if that was Marcus Smart, ref probably doesn't call it based on reputation
32:45 as trade deadline approaches, even Bob Myers was saying that Wiseman's situation is "tough"
35:30 2min06 Chris Finch knew we would come out of the timeout in zone, ran the right play for a dunk Garza to McDaniels
40:00 Dean Chambers came up with the only juicy Wiseman deal out there: Bojan Bogdanovic:
41:00 I just realized Wiggins probably won the tip
46:00 9min17 46:15 Kuminga good help to Rivers but a tad late, too much body, just stay grounded
48:45 Kuminga should just work on his mental this off-season. A lot of exasperation on his part.
55:45 Klay early jumper missed 5min21 leads to Edwards free throws, we are not running Tiki-Taka, then Donte gets a tiki dunk
58:30 4min11 Dray almost a second turnover with Steph, but I actually don't have a problem with the turnovers that involve movement between those two guys specifically
1:01:30 Wiseman-Olynyk deal: does Olynyk move the needle enough to guarantee a championship
1:12:00 Pritchard and Thybulle rumors are, imo, "kicking the tires" of deals that we can utilize to become "players playing better than their contract" type of deals
1:16:30 we analyze the last defensive breakdown where Steph and Draymond had a talk about it
1:27:00 10min25 Ed Malloy is one of those refs who calls it like it is, doesn't overthink it
1:56:00 end of Q3 we had JP with an AAU foul and JK train wrecked into the Timberwolves baseline, yells at the ref, pushes Austin Rivers away, Rivers tries to push him back. But can JK please stop with arguing with the ref? But if I went back in time to tell my 20yo self the same thing, I'd give myself the bird.
2:03:00 9min12 up only 6, my HOT TAKE: the "non-locked-in" energy from guys like Steph trickles down to kids like Poole and Kuminga and all of a sudden the whole team isn't locked in. AAU turnovers = not locked in at the NBA level
2:07:45 7min07 Looney raises his hand on DLo in transition 3, says my fault, I used to not like it when my own rec league team always said "my fault", which meant they were making too many faults
2:20:30 worst 27-point game from Steph ever? We're lucky Ant Edwards is 2/10 on 3s
2:26:15 for the people who want a trade: there was actually a shake-up and that was going small-ball to start, but yeah I get it that that may not have been enough because we did not come into this game locked in, either
2:28:00 I can't really complain about the last play being a pick-and-roll 2-pointer for Steph (pick by Klay)
2:30:00 JVthegreat: "you can tell when steph lost his groove it's when he always looks down"
2:31:15 strawhats100: "this is a massive game for the Dubs considering they'll likely rest everyone tomorrow night"
2:38:00 in response to Percy: "what the hell are they doing on offense?" 1min43 OT, they just usually go with read-and-react between Steph, Dray and Klay, with Wiggs and Loon filling in the gaps. So if we suck late in the game, it's really on the Hall-of-Famers for not manufacturing buckets
2:46:30 the Number One thing that could've been corrected tonight was just having Steph be more locked in
3:01:45 "we need a big man", tonight we went with no 5, no JaMychal Green, with KAT and Gobert out and the guys that played just need to lock in
3:15:00 is Wiggs playing tomorrow? (played 35 mins)
3:26:00 Let The Jet Fly: "Any trade requires multiple draft picks"
3:28:00 Nedi: "It's really all weighing the pros and cons of this developing at the same time trying to content, actually is a low risk for ownership as they won last season"
3:29:00 HOT TAKE: Is the dual timeline a curse or a gift?
3:47:00 taking a look at Denver's rotation
3:59:00 can't treat Wiseman or anybody as a video game, just because you insert a guy who can rack up numbers, doesn't mean it's gonna happen in real life. IRL is completely different than "plug-and-play" to whatever you wanna call that.
[PREGAME VIDEO N/A]
• Steve Kerr pregame Minnesota: Warriors starters tonight are Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green. “That first quarter the other night was one of our best quarters of the year… spacing… ball movement… flow starting to get a better sense of what to run… we’ll keep going with it.”
• On the plan for Iguodala: “He’s just working out with the training staff, healing. Soon as he’s ready to play they’ll tell me.”
• On Wiggins: “Never had a mid-season injury… lacked energy and rhythm… last game he looked like himself again… with force… back to where he was in the first half of the season… that month took him out of his rhythm and his comfort zone.”
• On Wiggins mostly being available during his career: “He’s been an iron man and always taken pride in that… last season, we asked him to rest the last game… gives you a lot of minutes and he’s there every night.”
• On Donte: “great now the last six works… proactive rather than reactive on offense. He sees the slips… it’s a unique way to play… most guys come in and take a little time to get comfortable… a lot like the core guys on the team… multi-talented… versatile.”
• On load management: “Our guys wanna play every single night… banged up and we’re trying to protect him from himself. Wasn’t the case six, seven years ago… their age now we just have to protect them from themselves… can affect them for a bunch of games thereafter… there’s a reason to be autopsy and safe… no conversation that’s really hard for us… coming up on a decade together… One of the hard parts is for maybe the older generation… we didn’t do this ten years ago, fifteen years ago… to be frank we’re just a lot smarter now… careers are being extended now. LeBron is in his twentieth year… learned how to take care of them better.
• On his career: “good fortune that I’ve had to play with the Bulls and the Spurs… to be coaching the Warriors during this run… special eras with special players. I think about this all the time. The chances of coaching Steph, Klay, Draymond, Andre… just as unlikely as my playing career was.”
• On two-way guys like McDaniels and Wiggins: “Versatility, length, switch-ability.”
• Steve Kerr tells reporters in Minnesota that he sees Klay Thompson as more of a 3/4 instead of a 2/3 now. (Dalton Johnson)
• Tonight’s Timberwolves starters vs. Golden State: Russell, Edwards, McDaniels, Anderson, Reid. OUT: Forbes - Right Ankle Sprain, Gobert - Right Groin Soreness, McLaughlin - Left Calf Strain, Towns - Right Calf Strain. (MIN PR)
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