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The case for more of Warriors’ Quinn Cook

Quinn Cook is a sure source of offense for a team that struggles at times to find it.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn Cook surprised everybody with his solid play last year when Stephen Curry was injured, proving himself to be the Golden State Warriors’ best playmaker for short stretches. This year, he’s quietly proving that last year’s efficiency and volume were no fluke.

Cook didn’t see much playing time in the first couple weeks: Alfonso McKinnie was ahead of him in the rotation, and Steph Curry was doing Curry things. But he’s gotten minutes lately and turned them into points right away: in the past eight games, he’s scored less than ten points only once. With Curry out due to injury, he’s one of the few Warriors that can consistently create offense. He deserves more playing time.

Offensively, his shooting stroke is his calling card, opening up a lot of lanes for him to drive to the rim and make plays. For the season, he’s shot 52% from the field and 48% from three. These numbers probably won’t sustain forever, but he’s still an elite shooter.

Cook is best with the ball in his hands, and although he can spot up in the corners, he finds his rhythm off the bounce. He can break down defenses with the threat of the three-pointer and make the necessary passes for easy scores.

The big question for Cook is how he stays on the floor defensively. He’s not a big point guard, and he’s not too athletic either. In last year’s playoffs, Cook was exposed a bit on that end by players who were quicker and bigger than him. He’s too small to play next to Curry, for example, which limits his rotation playing time.

At this juncture, though, Cook should be given more leeway to run the offense. Right now, with Curry out and Klay Thompson in a shooting slump, Cook is the second best offensive creator on the team behind Kevin Durant. Even when Curry returns, Cook should be given consistent bench minutes.