In the wake of Stephen Curry’s ankle injury, the Golden State Warriors are in the process of reorienting their entire rotation and offensive gameplan to make up for the absence of their most important player.
Whenever a starter is injured, coach Steve Kerr usually likes to maintain as much of his rotation as possible. Instead of starting Shaun Livingston, one of the league’s best backup point guards, Kerr went with Quinn Cook, who was called up promptly from the G-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors.
Patrick McCaw, who Kerr described as the “nominal third string point guard” earlier in the season, was out Wednesday with a nose contusion. Livingston’s role at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters is crucial for the Warriors’ second unit, and generally, his minutes will be controlled due to his injury history. So maybe Cook starting wasn’t such a surprise after all.
Quinn Cook is a second-year point guard who won G-League Rookie of the Year last year. After bouncing between Dallas and New Orleans last year, he signed a two-way contract with the Warriors. This season, he’s been averaging 25.1 points, 8.4 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. His True Shooting percentage of 61% and his 41% 3-point accuracy are amazing for a player scoring at such a high volume.
Before the game against the Hornets, Cook had only played 19 minutes with the Golden State Warriors, mostly in garbage time. To be thrust onto the big stage, especially in a starting role, is a tough adjustment for anybody.
But Cook did well. In 22 minutes, he scored eight points (including 2-for-4 from long range), corralled three boards, and recorded three assists.
Kerr has stated that the starting point guard in Curry’s absence may change based on the matchup. But whether or not he’s starting, expect Cook to get a decent amount of playing time in the next month.
Cook has clearly shown he’s too good for the G-League. Hopefully, he can find a secure place in the NBA, and it would be awesome if it could be with the Warriors.