The Golden State Warriors improve to 3-1 in their third blowout win for the season. There is not much to complain about as a Warriors fan as we get to watch some really inspiring basketball being played on both ends of the court. The most glaring problem in this short season has been the 2nd unit’s ability to score and surprisingly defend.
Now the 2nd unit has some wonderful defensive players and some that have useful skills on the offensive end, but they don’t have anyone that can harmonize the unit. Essentially, they’re missing a true point guard. While Toney Douglas is a perfectly fine player, asking him to run an offense just isn’t in his skillset. Watching him try to get players into their scoring spots can be downright painful. Douglas just doesn’t initiate sets well as his lack of dribbling ability makes it look like he will turn the ball over at any sign of pressure.
While Klay is emerging as a potential 20+ppg scorer this year, he’s not one that can get others involved in the offense. Klay thrives when he can get open shots created for him either through screens or spot up attempts, mostly off ball situations. This year we’re witnessing a much improved post up isolation game from him as well, but all these situations are predicated on him receiving a pass at the right time.
Barnes, from whom we have yet to see any meaningful play, also doesn’t have the type of game that can make this 2nd unit hum along. Like Klay, he doesn’t really get anyone else involved as they both average less than 2 assists per game. When he thrived in the playoffs, it was mostly off of mismatches and isolation attempts. But these situations don’t help ball movement and unless he can force the defense to collapse on him regularly by attacking the rim and regularly finding the open man (a skill he has yet to show on the NBA level) the 2nd unit offense will stall.
Well then, how do you fix the eventually scoring problem for the 2nd unit? You play your best offensive weapon with the 2nd unit. That’s right, you insert Stephen Curry. One of the league’s top offensive players and a player that demands to be double teamed. Curry will get double teamed and he can find the open man and get others wide open shots, shots the 2nd unit can make. Now you’re probably wondering, well what about his duties as the starting pg? This should help the starting unit as now Curry can focus on facilitating and getting Klay and Lee in scoring position to get them into rhythm. Then as they get their rest, Curry can focus on getting his shots up and getting himself into rhythm without trying to satisfy his other offensive cohorts at the same time. The Miami Heat already employ this same strategy with Lebron James. This maximizes Lebron’s talents and gets the most from the 2nd unit. The same applies to Curry. Curry is our best offensive player and he can create open looks for his teammates. The starters don’t need Curry to take over games since all 5 players are offensively gifted and 3 out of the 4 are good to great playmakers in their own right, because of this we don’t get to see Curry have as many offensive explosions as he possibly could have. Let’s maximize the talents of Curry the same way the Heat maximize Lebron’s talents.