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Preview: Sick of tanking yet? Warriors likely to find little relief against Mavericks

Golden State still winless in 2020, will need pretty much everything to go right in order to beat Luka Doncic and Dallas

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The Golden State Warriors fan base has been through a lot. That’s why when outsiders mocked any "bandwagon" fans during the heyday of the Warriors dynasty, it was met with mere derision - not hate, nor anger - just a calm shake of the head and a “nah son, you don’t know what I’ve seen.”

I’ve seen what a team led by Earl Boykins and Speedy Claxton looks like. I’ve seen a fan base that boisterously cheered for a crumbling Andris Biedrins as he hit a single, meaningless free throw. And I’ve seen a team that has kept their head high despite getting just 9 wins in the first half of the season.

And so we continue to cheer through the slow and painful grind that is the Warriors’ 2019-2020 season. Presaged by an uncanny run of bad injury luck and retirements, this season never felt great to begin with, and it’s only gone downhill from there.

Tonight the Warriors host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, a team that is averaging 141.5 points per game against the Warriors this year over the course of two games. We may not win (probably won’t), but that doesn’t stop Dub Nation from rooting for our guys to succeed.


WHO: Golden State Warriors (9-32) vs. Dallas Mavericks (24-15)

WHERE: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

WHEN: Tuesday January 13, 2020; 7:30 pm PST

WATCH: NBC Sports Bay Area

Blog Buddy: Mavs Moneyball

No Damion Lee yet: Contract considerations

When the Warriors waived Marquese Chriss, it shocked a lot of fans. He was one of the best defenders, a pretty clear best in basically all aspects of post play in fact... and yet the team dumped him.

People in the know began to clarify that as much as the team wanted to retain Chriss, this was a move necessitated by the desire to add Damion Lee to a full contract (fulfilling a pre-season promise to not put him in the G League).

Only something weird happened at that point: Lee has been nowhere to be seen. He hasn’t played since the news broke that the Warriors were signing him to a full deal.

He’ll miss this game as well, but reportedly will sign his contract right after, and then be a full fledged Dub moving forward.

This is GM Bob Myers doing all the little things. By delaying the signing, the team is lowering his pro-rated salary, giving them a little more room to operate.

At the halfway mark in the season, what could we do differently to fix the team?

Here’s a fun thought exercise: what tweak would you make to the team if Steve Kerr was asking you for advice over a beer?

One recently discovered solution is Omari Spellman, stretch five:

Over the course of the last three games, Spellman is 10-16 from deep; a robust 43% on the season (34 of 79 overall). While the Warriors would certainly love to be winning more right now, finding a viable shooter that can play the Center position would be a major team victory this season, and even more so next year.

As Anthony Slater pointed out for The Athletic, the Warriors pass-heavy system has not been returning good results this season:

...the Warriors are currently averaging a league-high 334 passes per game, more than any of those previous dynastic teams.

Their scoring output: 102.7 points per 100 possessions, the lowest offensive rating in the NBA.

But again, we are having a gap year here, so finding a fit moving forward is just as good as one that works now. Will those passes work better with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back on the court? For sure - but right now that’s slim comfort to a team that is dead last in shooting efficiency and team scoring.

Screen capture from basketball reference shows Warriors shooting poorly, and allowing opponents to shoot well

Community news

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When I started writing here, it was because I wanted to help the community out. I have a full career IRL, and have neither the time nor inclination to become a professional sports writer. So it is extra cool for me to be able to play such a big role in forging a new home for us out of the internet wilderness; one that isn’t beholden to corporate interests, or stuffed with ads and chasing clicks.

It’s going to be free, open comments, with all the same level of coverage we’ve been providing here and none of the corporate greed. No ad intrusion, no “oops, were you trying to open comments? Here’s an ad that appears under your finger instead!”

Just pure hoops talk, video, and podcasts.

Look for the big news one week from today!


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