“It didn’t shock me, we saw some of this last year.” That was coach Steve Kerr discussing Quinn Cook’s big game. And Kerr was right (as usual); we have seen this before.
Steph Curry’s injuries have a weird relationship with Quinn Cook’s career. If you’ll recall, it was Curry’s knee injury (caused by a Javale McGee tumble) that opened the door for Quinn Cook last season. So it was somewhat fitting then, that after getting three DNPs (Did Not Play) out of a possible 12 games Cook’s first real chance to play a significant role came after a Curry injury.
This is really what led to the dismissal of Omri Casspi and his three-point aversion last season too. Without Curry, the Golden State Warriors have a point guard shortage. And we saw this happen again last night - without Curry and Shaun Livingston unavailable due to a vagueishly “sore foot,” it was time for Cook to step out of the shadows once again.
27 points in 29 minutes, on 68% shooting, and some stellar defense. Sure, a lot of these shots were set up by Kevin Durant, but it was the Nets lack of attention that killed them in their 116-100 defeat last night. Quinn Cook’s career high is 30 - set last year but requiring an additional ten minutes of playing time - but this may have been the finest scoring performance of his career. And it helped basically end the game by halftime.
Good half for the Warriors, without Curry/Draymond/Livingston, against an always energized Nets team— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 11, 2018
-Strong KD production: 19 points, 7 assists
-Huge Quinn Cook half: 19 points, 5 rebs, 3 assists, 7/8 FG
-Klay gets 10 on 5/9 FG
Warriors up 65-53
Kevin Durant, facilitator extraordinaire
I wouldn’t say that Kevin Durant is only known as a scorer, but it’s clearly the most dominant (and therefore, prominent) aspect of his game. When he came to Golden State, it wasn’t just his scoring that was emphasized. From coaches down to players, everyone was excitedly jabbering about unleashing the potential of Durant’s full game.
It hasn’t been a smooth process - as Durant’s brand of off-the-dribble wizardry can sometimes be at odds with the Warriors’ pass-happy lifestyle. As the team grows together though, it appears as if we are beginning to find a happy medium.
In talking about the Warrior Wonder for this game then, it’s fitting that we discuss both Durant’s scoring and facilitatory role.
Noticeable how happy all the Warriors are for each other's success. KD seemed just as happy about Cook's 27 as he would about his own. There is a genuine happiness for each other when a teammate does well. Not something you see on every team.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) November 11, 2018
Durant did a little bit of everything last night. He’s always been able to do so, of course, but it sure does appear as if this game was one of his most well-rounded as a Warrior. 28 points (on 15 shots - including 9/9 from the charity stripe), to go along with 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals, and a block.
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Nyets?
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Other (answer in comments)
There are a couple of viable candidates for most outstanding role player last night.
Jordan Bell - Though perhaps his stat line doesn’t jump off the table, Bell played a great game. You can tell a lot about Kerr’s opinion of a player, and Kerr’s willingness to play Bell out of position speaks volumes about his trust in the young second-year pro.
Steve Kerr went with Jerebko instead of Bell at the starting 4 tonight. Expect that to remain whenever Draymond is out. KD: “It’s kinda hard playing out there with JB and Damian, two centers. Spacing’s kind of messed up.” pic.twitter.com/IMWz4HtoiX— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 11, 2018
Still, Bell did play a lot of the game at the power forward position rather than center. His ability to extend his defense from the post all the way out to the perimeter is incredibly valuable in the modern NBA. Eight rebounds, two steals and a block on that night, to go along with five points (including a pretty little baseline jumper!?). Not bad at all.
Jonas Jerebko - He earned his first start as a Warrior and displayed his value on both ends of the court yet again. Though he was probably the least impactful starter, and went 0-3 from deep, he bears some consideration here just for utility. As a shooting wing off the bench, it’s nice that the Warriors managed to find someone big enough with decent defensive chops to slot into a few different positions.
Damian Jones - I actually don’t have a ton to say about Jones’ performance in the game. He was decent enough (8 points, 6 rebounds, and a block)... but damn bro... this is nice.
Who would you declare to be the Goldenest Sidekick against the Nets?
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Damian Jones (or at least: that oop tho!?)