Dub Nation is ready for a win.
The Golden State Warriors continue to play with just eight available players (the mandatory league minimum number), but with help imminent and the team playing noticeably better, Wednesday’s home game against the Chicago bulls is winnable.
It would be just what the doctor ordered for a team and fan base that has borne one of the sharpest season-to-season declines ever. Draymond Green, still nursing that sore heel, is listed as Questionable.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (3-15) vs Chicago Bulls (6-12)
WHERE: Chase Center — San Francisco, CA
WHEN: Wednesday November 27, 2019; 7:30 pm PST
WATCH: NBC Sports Bay Area
Blog Buddy: Blog a Bull
The Warriors new squad name: The Elite Eight
With around $130 million in salary for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell sitting on the bench, it’s no secret why the Warriors are bad right now. Beyond just the lack of top-end talent, the Warriors have been hurt by injuries to key positions. For example, the ability to slot Kevon Looney into any of the three positions he can play, would be an immense aid to coach Steve Kerr’s rotation patterns and ability to attack (or avoid) certain matchups.
Instead, as Brady Klopfer pointed out recently, Ky Bowman, Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole all rank in the top five in minutes played for the Warriors. After the last loss, Kerr indicated he has been proud of the healthy players left available. Even at the highest level of professional sports, it takes a tremendous strength of will to go out so deeply undermanned every night and keep fighting.
As transcribed by Kristen Moran of KRON4, here’s coach Steve Kerr talking about how unusual it is to be forced into playing all these games with just eight players, and how it could all come together anyways:
“So for us to be doing this almost routinely now is [playing with just eight players] — I’ve never seen it. So it’s a testament to the group, the ‘Elite Eight,’ that I like to call them. The Elite Eight’s doing a hell of a job hanging in there”
...I’ve been doing this for a long time in one capacity or another, and I see a lot of really positive things from this team. We’re going to get some people back, we’ve been hampered by a lot of injuries, but we get (Russell) back, we get (Looney) back, we get (Green) back, what the young guys have done, what they’ve helped to build in the early part of the season foundationally — we’re going to start winning some games. We just got to keep doing what we’re doing,” Kerr said.
Klay Thompson, sideline reporter
I don’t have much to say on this, but it should add to the legend of our deadpan yet quirky shooting guard. Klay Thompson, who may be out for the season with a knee injury but can’t stay away, will be running the sideline reporter duties for this Bulls game.
Warriors pregame show says that Klay Thompson will serve as the team’s sideline reporter for Wednesday’s game against the Bulls.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 26, 2019
If nothing else, it’s going to be great seeing Thompson again. For a team that has had so much reliability over the past few years, it’s been a jarring start to the season without all the familiar faces and voices.
The Bulls are a very beatable team
While there are some games that seem laughably out of reach, this is not one of those. The Chicago Bulls may have twice as many wins, but having six wins instead of three at this point is only good enough to get them tied for the sixth worst record in the NBA.
According to NBA.com, the Bulls’ offense is nearly dead last, just 103.6 points per 100 possessions. While that isn’t too far away from the Warriors (104.9), it Represents an inability to attack the area of Golden State’s greatest vulnerability, defense.
Even in the games they’ve won, the Warriors’ defense has been atrocious, so facing a bad offense is almost a prerequisite for any potential win. The Bulls have just that.
Also, while it’s only a three game sample size, in wins, it’s been the Warriors’ offense that has shone, never the defense. For what it’s worth (just because I noticed while writing), in wins, the Warriors offensive rating of 113.6 is second only to the Dallas Mavericks. Over the course of the season, the Warriors offense continues to fall (currently down in 24th place with an ORTG of 104.9.
So? How’s that Bulls defense? Not as bad as Golden State’s of course (we continue to have the league’s worst rank in this regard), but they’ve struggled. Most recently, the Bulls coughed up Carmelo Anthony’s best scoring output. You should absolutely read this well-written article from our buddy blog, but the salient part is that the team is structurally deciding to concede elements that the modern NBA offenses like Golden State’s should feast on.
What CHI is doing defensively is essentially malpractice in 2019. Running a system that *bleeds* corner 3s and shots at the basket is a special kind of stupid.
For the first time in a long time, I am non-ironically calling for a win. The Warriors have been playing better and especially so at home recently. If it wasn’t for some late game heroics/meltdowns, the Warriors could easily have two more wins at Chase this season.
Also, I’m spatchcocking my turkey this year. Like the Warriors, I’m not entirely sure about what I’m doing here, but hoping that it all works out in the end.