NBA

Plenty of Issues to Digest from a Disconnected Warriors Season

on

When the Golden State Warriors came back from their preseason trip to Japan, they were ready to get down to business.

After an offseason of celebrations, a parade, and basking in their glory, the time came to start the title defense. From that moment on, the next eight months were full of frustration and disappointment. The two playoff series they appeared in this year manifested the tribulations they faced throughout the season.

It’s not surprising that their season ended the way it did, especially if you watched how everything unfolded day to day, month to month. The Warriors could not escape their own issues of inconsistency and imbalance in all levels of the organization. They are now rewarded with what is sure to be a tension-filled, polarizing offseason with plenty of questions to answer.

From the Top

Warriors’ General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Bob Myers, is not under contract for next season onward. None of the decisions that need to be made this offseason will be made without a general manager. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Wednesday night that both the Warriors and Myers have not had serious extension talks in months.

This is a major domino to fall for the entire vision of the franchise. Myers is the front-office representative that the championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Steve Kerr have trust in. He is the person that has built all of the rosters and meaningful relationships that have cultivated a culture of winning and sacrifice. Without him, the organization will have less pushback against wanting to move the team in a new direction.

If he stays, there is a much higher chance the team tries to keep the big three together. Even if Mike Dunleavy has been working under Myers for the last several years, it will still be a massive shakeup for the organization.

The Struggle Between Timelines

Among the 15 players on the roster at the beginning of the season, six of them were under the age of 24. Two of those six were rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins. Both mostly spent their time playing garbage time or for the G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz. Both were never going to get a chance to play — aside from a couple quality stints from Baldwin Jr. — since the main goal was to defend the title.

Another two of the six were second-year players, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Moody found himself riding the bench for just about the entire regular season. Kuminga, however, played meaningful rotation minutes during the second half of the season. There was a disconnect between the front office and the rest of the organization with the players and coaches.

Kerr is not known to be a good developmental coach. He consistently played other options than Moody and Kuminga. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Moody and two-way contract Ty Jerome played 817 and 816 minutes, respectively.

On the surface, it does not seem like an issue since they are both bench players. However, Moody played in 18 more games than Jerome. This is the same Moses Moody who might have been the third- or fourth-most reliable player in the series against the Lakers. Kuminga saw only 61 minutes total for the entirety of the playoffs. He is another player who could have realistically made an impact against the size and length of Los Angeles.

Not to mention, the James Wiseman project had to be cut short at the trade deadline. It is more frustrating that the team traded him for a player who was just on the roster last season in Gary Payton II. Wiseman was the only player of the second timeline to get minutes, even while making mistakes. His minutes were cut after the team started the season 3-7, as he had a net rating of -24.4 during the first month.

Warriors’ Chemistry Issues

There were many theories on why Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole. There are also theories on who leaked the recording of the incident to TMZ, but the identity of that individual is still in question.

Myers and the rest of the Warriors’ brass chose not to suspend Green, but fine him instead. During this time, Myers and the organization also had to make a decision on contract extensions for Andrew Wiggins, Poole and Green. Wiggins and Poole were given the extensions, both earning $100M+ over the next four seasons.

This sequence of events shaped the entire outlook of the season. Green did himself no favors in any contract negotiations that were going on at the time, and his actions clearly caused tension in the locker room. The Warriors went 11-30 on the road. Road games are a true test of cohesiveness, and they did not show it on a championship level all year.

There were also many instances of the reserve players voicing their opinions on their playing time. Most recently in the playoffs, Kuminga was reportedly frustrated with his lack of playing time in the playoffs. Poole, Donte DiVincenzo and veteran JaMychal Green shared the same sentiment during the series against the Kings. It is why Curry had to give a rare, ‘powerful’ speech to the team before Game 7 in Sacramento.

The Warriors dealt with internal issues well beyond the Green-Poole incident, from both veterans and young players.

Star Absences

Stephen Curry missed 11 games due to a left shoulder subluxation. He missed another 11 due to a left lower leg injury. These freak accidents caused Curry to miss two months of the season. Injuries are a part of the game and are a part of an 82-game season, but a roster full of youth and inexperience cannot cover for this many missed games from one of the league’s best players.

Not to mention it took half of the season for Klay Thompson to play back-to-back games.

Wiggins Not Immune from the Shelf, Either

And then there was Andrew Wiggins‘ season. Kerr praised Wiggins for playing through his rib injury in Game 6 against the Lakers. He suffered the injury during his fantastic performance in Game 5.

Wiggins was a main point of contention amongst the Warriors’ fanbase. After dealing with missed games due to being sick and suffering an adductor strain in December, he was gone from the team starting in mid-February up until Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs due to personal reasons.

He missed two-straight months with the organization not releasing any info about when he was going to return. It caused unrest amongst the fanbase, but it was later reported that the personal reason was about his father dealing with a “serious medical situation”.

https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1642945756255453188

The Warriors dealt with inconsistent playing time from their best players along with all of the internal issues they were going through. The roster construction, teammate chemistry and lack of games played from their core derailed their year even before their year officially began.

It was the perfect recipe for disaster, and it ended in typical fashion against the Lakers, their California rivals.

Golden State has a chance to turn things around quickly after some soul searching this offseason. It’s going to take every level of the organization to be connected and aligned on the same goal: keeping the dynasty alive.

Steph Curry Bighead Bobblehead!Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors Bobblehead

This one is a super-limited dish from Chef Curry. Cook up a storm and run a fast break to secure one of just 72 Steph Curry Golden State Warriors Retro Jersey Variant Bighead Bobbleheads. Shop today!

About Christian Oblena

Born in San Francisco, raised in the East Bay, lifelong Bay Area sports fan. Here to give my own opinions on everything Dubs.

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com