The Golden State Warriors lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 121-113 on Thursday night, dropping the first game since Draymond Green was suspended indefinitely. Despite missing Paul George, the Clippers were able to lean on Kawhi Leonard and James Harden to lead them to victory. The Dubs are now 10-14 on the season and are quickly building a disastrous early-season hole for themselves in the standings.
Jonathan Kuminga replaced Green in the starting lineup, but Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made another change as well. The Dubs opted to remove Andrew Wiggins from the starting lineup for rookie Brandin Podziemski. Podziemski may not match Wiggins’ length and defensive potential, but inconsistent production on both ends of the floor from Wiggins has left Golden State searching for answers.
The switch did seem to have some positive effect on Wiggins, who managed to go 4-for-9 from the field despite a rough shooting day from three in just under 22 minutes of action. Podziemski, on the other hand, was unable to fully capitalize on the opportunity. In more than 34 minutes, Podziemski filled the stat sheets with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block, but was also just 2-for-11 from the field (0-for-3 from three). Assuming he can replicate his previous levels of offensive efficiency, though, there was obvious promise.
The Clippers dedicated themselves to stopping Steph Curry, as Ty Lue coached teams often do, and it was quite effective. He finished 5-for-17 from the field with just 17 points and was an uncharacteristic 3-for-13 from three. However, that left the path open for other starters. Klay Thompson led the way with 30 points, but Thompson, Kuminga, and Kevon Looney combined to score 53 points on 18-for-32 shooting from the field (10-for-15 from three).
As the losses pile up, it’s getting harder and harder to deny a potentially dark and cold possibility in Golden State. In spite of Curry’s greatness, the Dubs just may not be very good. There’s still time to right ship, either through a new rotation, internal development, or some midseason trades, but the clock is ticking.