Warriors Overreactions: Is winning simple as unlocking Steph Curry?

Monte Poole
·4 min read

Warriors Overreactions: Does Steph 'simplify' the offense? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

They played their most impressive games of the season on back-to-back nights, blasting the Blazers and crushing the Kings. After an uneven first five games, the Warriors officially might be onto something.

There were as many impressive elements to emphatic wins over Portland and Sacramento as there were substandard aspects to all three of their resounding losses.

At 4-3, the Warriors are above .500 for the first time since Kevin Durant moved on, Andre Iguodala was traded, and Shaun Livingston retired. Put another way, Klay Thompson was on the floor when they last had a winning record.

What does the two-game bump mean to their fans? We took to Twitter to solicit what we’ll call Warriors Overreactions.

Overreaction? Maybe. Maybe not.

There is the matter of competition. The Los Angeles Lakers could regress; LeBron James will be a year older, and he can’t outrun Father Time the forever. If Kawhi Leonard opts out and bolts (unlikely), the Los Angeles Clippers are diminished. How much improvement can be expected from the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks? Hard to say only two weeks into this season.

The Maybe: If Klay Thompson returns in October and looks anything like Kevin Durant and John Wall have so far, Kelly Oubre Jr. slides to Sixth Man -- a role he can own. The Warriors would have a top six that could compete with any team in the NBA.

The Maybe not: Oubre is making $14.4 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and even though the Warriors own his Bird Rights, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which he is re-signed. He says he’s looking for an NBA home and likes it here, but that doesn’t mean he’ll take a discount or that the Warriors will find a way to squeeze him in. Consider him a one-year rental unless there are other roster changes.

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Overreaction? No, but it’s a bit misleading.

This is a popular opinion among fans who believe coach Steve Kerr’s offensive system, lots of motion, players moving about and more passing than dribbling, inhibits Curry. “Flow” is the word Kerr uses.

We’ll let Draymond Green respond: “Steph is the flow,” he said after the win over the Kings. “He creates the flow. When he’s playing the way he played the last two nights, it allows everyone else to get into a flow. So, I disagree a little bit that he needs the offense to be flowing for him. He creates the flow for us, and the rest of us are able fill in and do our jobs.”

Kerr’s system, which has triangle elements, is designed to push defenders to their limits and, ultimately, create the open looks and buckets that burn them until they are demoralized into submission. Nobody does that better than Curry.

Curry’s usage rate is partly dependent on his aggression but also the ability of his teammates to keep up with his movement and use it to the team’s advantage. Nobody understands that better than Draymond, whose facilitation simplifies the offense.

RELATED: Why Steph believes Warriors headed in 'right direction'

Overreaction? Yes.

This obvious pun directed toward backup point guard Brad Wanamaker gets points for injecting humor. Got a chuckle out of me.

But coming after a player, any player, after seven games and 116 minutes is premature.

This has to be mostly about Wanamaker’s shooting. And, yes, other than an 11-point game on 4-of-7 shooting in Milwaukee on Christmas Day, it has been abysmal. He’s at 31 percent from the field, 18.2 percent from distance and 80 percent from the line.

All of these numbers are well below his NBA career percentages of 45.4 (field goals), 37.6 (3-pointers) and 91.5 (free throws).

His defense generally has been satisfactory. He’s feeling his way through new teammates and unsettled rotations. Give him time to settle in. History indicates he’ll find his shot. Check back after 20-25 games.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Golden State
+220+6.5O 225.5
Utah
-278-6.5U 225.5