Why don’t the Warriors stress Jordan Ball, the second unit struggles to lose


SAN FRANCISCO – Strength in numbers quickly became strength in the beginning for warriors in 128-123 Denver Nuggets lose Friday night at Chase Center.

Steve Kerr saw the loss much more as a result of their defensive efforts, or lack thereof. There is no one to argue with that. The Warriors allowed 40 points in the first quarter. They helped a lot and did not return to the defense. The Nuggets started shooting, and ended up shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from 3-point range, making 15 of 34 attempts from depths.

However, the seat of the warriors did not do them any favors. Taken together, it was minus -67 in plus minus compared to the Denver seat that combined together was plus 63.

“Things for Unit Two, that’s all going to change over the next few weeks,” Kerr said after the loss. “We don’t have a set rotation. We try many different people. This is also affected by the Klay’s minute restriction. [Thompson] and Draymond [Green]. This will take some time to be resolved.

“I thought the overall effort in the second half was what was lacking in the first. That’s what got us in trouble tonight.”

Jordan Paul, who recently signed a four-year contract extension that could be worth as much as $140 million, didn’t work out. After his first stint on the bench, he returned to the sidelines with a frustrated slap of his hands. At that time, he was aimless and had already made three transformations.

While it wasn’t for lack of playing time, with 27 minutes, Paul scored just seven points. Three of those came from the free throw line. He took five shots and missed all three jumpers, including both shots from outside the arc. The minus-20 was a game low, hitting that number only five times last season.

During his first two games of the season, Paul scored 19 total points while taking out 6 for 20 off the field and 2 for 11 on the treble. The defenses were no longer surprised by it. His campaign that kicked off 2021-22 has put a huge target on his back, and Kerr is focused on helping his 23-year-old star.

“They were putting a lot of pressure on him to pick and roll,” Kerr said. Denver has done really well this season adding Bruce Brown and [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] Two big bodyguards in the backcourt. I thought they did a good job in Jordan.

“With our second unit, we’re still in the midst of finding an identity with that group and that’s going to help Jordan. In the meantime, he’s going to have a goal on his back. That’s what happens when you get really good and win the championship and play like he did in the playoffs and sign a big contract, that’s how it goes.” things.

“We’ll try to help him, and we’ll start finding an identity with that second unit. He’ll play with both groups, and he’ll be fine.”

Andrew Wiggins, who had his second big night in a row after extending his contract, echoed Kerr’s words. He knows full well that Paul could explode as soon as Sunday against the Sacramento Kings or Tuesday at Phoenix against the Suns.

“JB is a competitor,” Wiggins said. “He hasn’t scored much tonight, but he’s set for a big game next. I believe in him, everyone here believes in him and we know his potential, so I don’t think anyone is worried.

“I don’t think he’s worried. We have every confidence in him. We’ve seen what he’s done on the bigger stage. I know he’s going to have a big match soon.”

Perhaps the biggest mystery Kerr is trying to discover with the second unit is the depth of his wing at the little forward. Are the first minutes after Wiggins go to Jonathan Kominga or Moses Modi?

The trio of Cominga, Jamishal Green and James Wiseman were all successful in pre-season, and the coaching staff wanted to see how it translates to the regular season. These collective skill sets block a lot of crime.

Kuminga was stopped goalless in the season opener, but he used his athletic ability to run the lanes and get two easy buckets early Friday night. He didn’t score again, played only eight minutes and was -10 in the loss.

Essentially, Kiir turned Modi in place of Kominga in the second half. Moody throughout pre-season has been at the top of the selection rankings when it comes to Unit Two. But he missed the pre-season final due to a sore right calf and was the eleventh player to score the minutes when the Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

This time, he did not play a single second in the first half. He finished the night playing 13 minutes off the bench, five more minutes off Kuminga. Moody was the only Warriors player off the bench who finished with a plus-minus positive. He was a plus-3 with three points (1 for 5 from the field, 1 for 4 from three) with one rebounds, one assist and one steal.

“That group played really well in pre-season with JK, Jamishal and James,” Kerr explained. “So we wanted to take a look at it. I felt in the first half, I think our coaches felt we just needed a little more distance with that group, so we went to Moses instead of JK. Moses came and did a really good job.

“Again, we’ll look at different groups and try different things. Of course we’re not always going to be healthy. The guys will get their chance. We have to find our identity as a team with that second group.”

The truth is, this is a deep Warriors team – one that can run at least 11 players deep. It is also a group of -95 combined through two games. This is not due to a lack of talent.

Two of the reserves – Green and Donte DiVincenzo – are new to the system. Paul is still learning the role of the sixth man. Kuminga and Moody are 20 years old and two games in their second professional season. Wiseman is 21 years old and has now played 41 games in the NBA.

Related: Draymond proves his commitment to the Warriors with effort in losing

What is the point of all this? Give it time. As in more than two games.

“They had a rough night tonight,” said Draymond Green. “They’ll find out. They’ve been great all pre-season. I’m not worried about that. As they keep working, they’ll do better and be fine.”

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