Now that they’ve knocked the construction dust off the rims, it’s time for the Golden State Warriors to continue their steady march towards basketball that actually matters. But in the meantime, let’s have another preseason game and try to figure out some of our roster and depth issues!
WHO: Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
WHEN: Thursday, October 10th, 2019; 7:30 PM PST
WHERE: Chase Center — San Francisco, CA
WATCH: NBATV, CSNBA
Blog Buddy: Canis Hoopus
The Golden State Warriors knew that this season was going to be a bumpy ride. It’s not just the amount of top-end talent that has departed, but also the influx of new players. The Warriors have a number of players who don’t know the system, haven’t played together, and don’t have years of successful experience in the league.
So of course they got smacked by the Los Angeles Lakers to open the preseason.
Tonight's game will feature a less talented opponent, which should give new star D’Angelo Russell a chance to improve on his four point, one assist outing in the last game. But the Timberwolves' big three is a lot less threatening than the Lakers’, featuring Karl-Anthony Towns (who will still decimate our woefully inadequate frontcourt), Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague.
Playing for a job: Alfonzo McKinnie and Marquese Criss
As our own Brady Klopfer wrote earlier this week, the Warriors roster is pretty much set in stone with just one wiggly piece, McKinnie and his non-guaranteed contract. Given the injuries and general dearth of decent options towards the bottom half of their roster, the Warriors have a lot of incentive to improve by adding Criss - if he can earn the spot.
The team signed Marquese Chriss to a training camp contract to add some center depth, and while Chriss has been rather disastrous in his NBA career thus far, he still brings some interesting elements. The Warriors certainly don’t have a player with that type of athleticism, and Chriss is still only 22, and three years removed from being a lottery pick.
He was impressive in the preseason opener on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 8 points on 4-6 shooting, with 6 rebounds and 4 assists (though he did foul out in just 14 minutes of play).
It would seem he’s still a long shot to make the team, and there’s really only one way he does: If the team decides his presence is more valuable than McKinnie’s.
The battle adds some intrigue to an otherwise entirely set roster. Chriss has struggled mightily so far in the NBA, but then again, so has McKinnie. While both are serviceable replacement level players, the Warriors are looking for one of them to separate themselves from the pack.
One other interesting player to keep an eye on tonight: ex-Warrior Jordan Bell. They got him cheap, but the Wolves have a roster construction that would seem to have a place to play Bell significant minutes. He was inconsistent in his time with the Warriors, but should get a warm welcome from both Warriors players and fans.