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Saturday morning mailbag

Catching you up on the latest questions about the Warriors.

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

I wanted to do a Golden State Warriors mailbag on Friday, since people seemed a wee bit panicked following the Thursday loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

But then lots of small news came out about the team, and I decided to keep the mailbag for a Saturday morning, so you can start your weekend out on the right note.

First off, this isn’t at all just a decision made by Steve Kerr. Steph Curry has a huge say in his minutes, and has stated many times that this is his preferred rotation.

The reasoning is simple: there’s no time where Curry is fresher than at the start of the first half or the start of the second half. Having his longest stints at those points ensures that he is at his freshest. Then he plays his shorter stints (six minutes) after a shorter break. And Curry likes playing whole quarters at a time, where he can gain rhythm and lead the team into the next frame.

That’s how Curry prefers it, that’s how Kerr prefers it, and it works better than not most of the times. It’s easy in hindsight to point out times where it doesn’t work, but it’s a solid strategy.

And before people say that the Warriors should be more fluid with it and change it game to game ... NBA players are creatures of intense habit. Go watch Curry’s pregame routine, and how meticulously detailed and planned it is, and you’ll quickly realize why a coach isn’t going to make his minutes random.

I would understand it, but I don’t advocate for it. First off, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee are playing similar minutes, and sometimes Lee plays more minutes, as he did vs. the Grizzlies. So who’s starting is mostly academic. But I think, especially after what happened last year with James Wiseman, that Kerr won’t want to pull Poole from the starting lineup after a few bad games and risk hurting his confidence.

Besides, Poole was brilliant in the preseason, and has had a few good games. He deserves more time in that role, and Lee will continue to impact games off the bench.

I don’t think anything’s wrong with Poole, to be honest. He’s 22 years old, with fewer than 2,400 minutes under his belt. He’s shown signs of taking a leap forward, but there should still be growing pains, especially when he’s being asked to be the second option in the starting lineup, when his natural role right now would be sixth man.

He’s playing better defense than ever before. He’s making plays and brilliant passes better than before. The shot should start falling, and the growing pains should ease up.

As far as the ball movement, I think (and hope) it’s just early season struggles. It’s a new system for some of the players, and even those who have been in it a while are getting re-accustomed to it after a two-year hiatus. The offense still looks dramatically better than it did last year, and it’s trending in the right direction. But I’m not sure there’s an NBA team out there that is playing offense the way they’d like to be right now.

I haven’t heard any updates about assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, who injured his leg during a workout. He’s out indefinitely, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, so I would expect that we don’t see him for a few games. With that said, I’m sure he’s still very involved behind the scenes.

I think Nemanja Bjelica will greatly benefit from the return of Klay Thompson. The improved spacing will help open up the court even more for Bjeli, who is already a good shooter without extra space, and we’ve seen how well he can pass in the system. He’ll find Klay on numerous occasions, and get to hoist a few threes with no defender near him.

Absolutely. Through five games, Moses Moody has played just 10 minutes. He needs some time on the court to further his development and gain experience.

He’ll spend more time in San Francisco than Santa Cruz this season, but some time in the G League will only do good things for him.

Thanks to everyone for the questions. Enjoy your Saturday, and have fun watching the Dubs hopefully pick up their fifth win.

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