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Warrior Wonder: Draymond Green is irreplaceable

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Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant do some damage - but not enough to make up for the absence of the heart of our defense

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors
Jordan Bell and Damian Jones are simply not ready to man the interior against the best

Against a tough opponent, there are only a couple of viable alternatives when Green is out

The length of this Milwaukee Bucks team is something that the Warriors have always struggled a bit with over the past couple of years. It’s not just that they disrupt passing lanes (which they do) - Milwaukee’s long-limbed defenders make everything harder.

Some are getting on coach Steve Kerr’s case for making the decision to start Jordan Bell alongside Damian Jones, but I think we can all appreciate that there just weren’t a ton of great alternative options. This is an extremely deep team with a ton of talent, but no absence is quite as noticeable as Draymond Green.

Against the Bucks? It was a death knell.

The bright side

Welp, we have to nominate somebody for these awards, so I’m going to turn the vote over to the people, rather than selecting last night’s Warrior Wonder. With Curry going cold (and leaving early due to injury) there are only a couple of starters who played remotely well.

Klay Thompson was probably our best asset on the night. The team’s best two-way player (shout out to our buddy Dave!) managed 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, which was - I guess - the best performance of the night. Kevin Durant, also had a decent night, 17 points, 5 rebounds, nine assists and a block in our losing effort.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Bucks

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Klay Thompson
    (209 votes)
  • 44%
    Draymond Green
    (180 votes)
  • 4%
    Kevin Durant
    (20 votes)
409 votes total Vote Now

Can we get some more Looney? Please?!?

As we pointed out in our preview, slotting in another foul-prone player, next to our foul-prone starting center probably wasn’t the greatest idea. But Andre Iguodala was coming off an injury (and categorically not someone Kerr is looking to ride hard in November), and we needed a big.

So why not start Kevon Looney?

For one thing, the inclusion of two non-shooters was disastrous because it allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to play free safety all night - stuffing actions both at the wings, and down low. As per Marcus Thompson of The Athletic:

He [Giannis] didn’t spend much time on Durant on Thursday. He defended one of the Warriors bigs and roamed as a helper.

“I was just trying to help my teammates on every play,” Antetokounmpo said. “I was guarding Jordan Bell a lot, (Andre) Iguodala, Jonas Jerebko, at the rate KD was trying to go 1-on-1 or Steph or Klay, I was just trying to help them and make them pass it to my guy.”

Kevon Looney should have probably gotten the nod for the start. Eight points on three shots, to go along with five rebounds. two assists, and a block. Not bad for 21 minutes.

Honorable mention probably goes to Quinn Cook. He did most of his damage in garbage time, but 15 points, five assists, and two rebounds is a respectable contribution - even if it was just spinning the wheels in a loss.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Sidekicker against the Bucks

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Kevon Looney (and he should have started!)
    (161 votes)
  • 24%
    Quinn Cook
    (69 votes)
  • 18%
    Ugh, I dunno... who else you got? (answer in comments)
    (53 votes)
283 votes total Vote Now