Good Morning Dub Nation,
A week that began with anguish and doubt surrounding the Golden State Warriors has quickly changed its tune as the team ended their long road trip with an impressive two-game winning streak. With four consecutive home games scheduled for the upcoming week, things are beginning to trend in a positive direction for the Warriors, especially given Thursday’s big news that guard Gary Payton II could be making his team debut as early as this Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gary Payton II could join the Warriors lineup as soon as Sunday vs. Minnesota, team says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 23, 2023
Payton — after being reacquired by the Warriors during this year’s NBA Trade Deadline — has yet to play for Golden State this season due to a right adductor strain. While his return will be a welcomed sight for everyone in Dub Nation, his skillset should be of massive help to the Warriors on the court as well.
The Warriors’ defense has struggled this season at defending the point of attack as injuries and inactives have cost them several of their best perimeter defenders. This forces the team’s defense into making help rotations far too often which inevitably leads to open shots for the opposing offense.
Enter Payton, who just so happens to be one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. Payton’s ability to guard the opposing team’s top perimeter threat should help contain the initial attack while also sliding the rest of the team into more appropriate defensive assignments. In his latest article, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area wrote about Payton’s impact on Golden State this season, especially when it comes to his new defensive back court teammate, Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo.
Why does anyone come to the Warriors? To the win. DiVincenzo has done so in college and the NBA and wants to be back to the mountain top. Payton climbed his way there a year ago, and DiVincenzo is all ears as an eager listener around him.
“For me personally, we’re picking each other’s brains,” DiVincenzo said. “I think it’s gonna be super fun to play full-court defense, me and Gary. I look forward to it. And you know, with all these matchups I have, we’re always talking in timeouts. ‘What would you do? What did you see here?’
“It’s really helping me, for sure.”
With only eight games remaining in the regular season, the Warriors are starting to build some positive momentum just in time for the playoffs. As the team starts to get healthier and continues to find their groove again, it may just be time for Golden State to remind everyone why they are the defending NBA champions.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Sixers star duo Joel Embiid and James Harden listed as questionable vs. Warriors
- Steve Kerr and Steph Curry react to ‘weird’ play in Warriors win over Mavs
- A deep dive on the play that led to a huge Warriors win over the Mavericks — and how Jonathan Kuminga was crucial in its success
- Player grades: Warriors vs. Mavs
- Mavericks plan to file formal protest of their 127-125 loss to the Warriors
Other Warriors News:
- How Gary Payton II already has made impact on Warriors before playing (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- The Warriors Are the Most Disappointing Team in the NBA, but Don’t Count Them Out (Sports Illustrated)
- Warriors on 5-Team Shortlist for Jaylen Brown Trade Amid Recent Rumors: Sources (Heavy)
- Can the Warriors overcome bad road record in the playoffs? (NBA)
- Steve Kerr: Kuminga is “starting to learn when to make his move” (95.7 The Game)
- Sources: LeBron James could play final week of regular season (ESPN)
- How Mavericks and Mark Cuban were mystified by the strangest play of their season (The Athletic)
- The NBA League Pass Value Player Rankings (The Ringer)
- Jaden Ivey’s development is a bright spot for the Pistons (SB Nation)
- Jaylen Brown wants to challenge Celtics and Boston (SB Nation)
A tweet to end the week:
With the NCAA March Madness Tournament in full swing, here’s a look back at Stephen Curry’s legendary Davidson run which was only the beginning of one of the most illustrious careers in basketball history. Have a good weekend Dub Nation!