With Draymond Green out for the Golden State Warriors’ game against the Brooklyn Nets tonight, it wasn’t exactly obvious who would start in his place.
Starting in Green’s place on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Jordan Bell was a foul magnet early on. Even though Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group reported that Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t want to place the blame on Bell — which makes a lot of sense — he also understands that Bell is simply better suited for playing the center spot because there’s typically better spacing on the floor than when Bell is playing next to another big man.
Medina suggested either Kevon Looney or even Alfonzo McKinnie to fill in at power forward, but Kerr went in a bit more surprising direction given that everyone’s mind has been on filling the void Green leaves with a defender: Jonas Jerebko will be getting the start tonight.
Starting at PF for @warriors tonight: Jonas Jerebko.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) November 11, 2018
Mild surprise. Figured Kerr would go away from Jordan Bell, but thought he might go smaller and quicker.
This will be Jerebko’s first start as a Warrior, where he has averaged 16.5 minutes per game and shot 40% from the 3-point line.
With both Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingson out due to early-season injuries tonight, Kerr also had a decision to make about his starting point guard. He ultimately chose to start Quinn Cook was a bit more obvious and the decision was tweeted by Anthony Slater yesterday morning.
This will be the first start of the season for Cook, who has averaged 12.2 minutes per game thus far this season off the bench — that’s only two more minutes per game than Cook earned during the Warriors’ playoff run last season. Nevertheless, Kerr made an interesting point about having Cook available to play in place of Curry, as reported by Mark Medina yesterday.
“He’s a guy who understands that without Steph on the floor, we’re not going to be in nearly as many random offensive possessions. We have to have more play guys,” Kerr said. “That is much more important when Steph is not on the floor. With Steph, we sort of like to create the chaos and just go. But we need more organization when Steph is out. Quinn provides it.”
If nothing else, the wrinkles in the starting lineup make this early November game against Brooklyn significantly more intriguing than it might’ve been otherwise; if things get out of hand or Kerr just needs to give someone else a breather, both Marcus Derrickson and Jacob Evans were called up from Santa Cruz as options for tonight’s game as well.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the lineup change in the comments and follow along with us during the game.