Draymond Green ejection, Klay Thompson benching spotlights another Warriors nightmare | The Athletic
Was it frustrating?
“Of course it frustrates me,” Thompson said. “You think I’m gonna just chill? I’m freaking competitive man. At the end of the day, I’m one of the most competitive people to put this uniform on. I can say that with confidence too. But whatever. I guess I didn’t bring it tonight. I deserved it.”
Were you given an explanation in the moment?
“Nope,” Thompson said. “Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Whatever. I deserved to be benched tonight. I played like crap.”
Where is this all going? And with that league-record $400 million payroll (including luxury taxes) hanging over their heads, when might Warriors owner Joe Lacob decide that it’s time for a significant change? As one front-office executive put it in the wake of Green’s leveling of Nurkić, “I’d imagine some reassessments (are happening now).”
But if winning titles is the end goal for them all — and it is — then the uncomfortable truth is that this revered group of future Hall of Famers doesn’t look capable of coming anywhere close. They’re getting beaten on most nights, having lost 12 of their last 17 after a 5-1 start. They look broken in ways that go well beyond the box score, with a litany of late-game situations having gone south during this brutal start. They look … cooked.
.@anthonyVslater describes the scene in Phoenix last night after Klay got benched:— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) December 13, 2023
“Steph, at one point, kinda had to pull him (Klay) away. He was yelling towards the bench. It didn’t seem like it was anybody in particular he was yelling at… He was making his opinions felt.… pic.twitter.com/FC1dH3XvdK
“All the pieces fit for a reason,” Curry said. “They have for a very long time. So, when you’re missing one, it’s tough.
“We still had opportunities to win the game tonight . . . we want to be able to overcome the incident, his ejection, but we weren’t able to get it done. But we need everybody available. That’s how we’re built. It’s no secret.”
The Warriors have played 23 games. Draymond missed one game for personal reasons, two games with injury and was suspended from five. He was ejected from three of the 15 in which he played.
Warriors reportedly offered Klay Thompson a 2-year, $48 million extension prior to the season per Shams Charania
"[Klay Thompson's] future has been in question...I'm told that the Warriors offered a deal, 2 years in the range of 48 million dollars in an extension to Klay Thompson before the season, and now there's no deal."@ShamsCharania on the current state of the Golden State Warriors.… pic.twitter.com/B0T6rRMo5K— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) December 13, 2023
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks scoring record overshadowed by game ball drama with Pacers | The Athletic
Following the win, Antetokounmpo was under the belief that the Pacers had taken the game ball for the night and walked off with it. In response, Antetokounmpo and a few other members of the team raced up the tunnel leading to the Pacers’ locker room in Fiserv Forum and tried to chase them down for the basketball. After all parties were separated, both teams made their ways to their respective locker rooms and the situation appeared to be resolved, but the post-game interviews made things even more confusing.
“What happened after the game was unfortunate,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “There was a misunderstanding about the game ball. It was Oscar Tshiebwe’s first NBA point. So we always get the game ball. We grabbed the ball and a couple of minutes later several of their players ended up in our hallway.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-11) may have a winning record, but the team needs to climb out of play-in range. The team hasn’t entirely lived up to expectations.
That probably won’t mean Max Strus gets traded, as he’s second on the team in minutes (34.6 per game) and helping to space the floor at 36.2 percent from three on 7.7 attempts. Perhaps Caris LeVert, whose two-year $32 million contract was signed in July, and/or Georges Niang ($25.5 million over three) are more expendable.
Several competing executives are curious to see if the team looks to move Evan Mobley to center with Jarrett Allen as trade bait to add talent at power forward that better fits with Mobley.
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
There’s simply been too many examples of Green flying off the handle in the last two years. Punching Jordan Poole at a practice, stomping on Domantas Sabonis, choking Gobert - it’s a ridiculous amount of overreactions, cheap shots, and outright dirty plays.
It’s not clear why Green can’t seem to control his aggression anymore. But the Warriors can’t realistically trade him - he has a four-year $100 million contract and his trade value couldn’t be lower. They also simply need him, since they’re struggling with interior defense even with him on the roster.
But they also can’t continue dealing with him getting ejected every five games, or regularly suspended.
Another thing to point out from Wiggins’ shot profile: he’s been taking more shots in the mid-range this season (47% of his shots) compared to last season (38%); the last time he took at least 40% of his shots from the mid-range was five seasons ago, during the 2018-19 season. To make matters worse, he’s making those shots at a 41% clip — 49th percentile among forwards, per Cleaning The Glass.