Yeah I guess it’s kind of pathetic what’s happened to the Golden State Warriors, but you may have figured it was going to happen, right? The decline of a so-called “dynasty.” Can they get it back? Well, when Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green are all on the floor healthy together they’ll have a “Big Three,” won’t they? I’m not looking for that; with the season having gone south, the attitude has more or less been “quitsville.”
This clearly wasn’t the way they wanted their new palace to open.
So here they are, a beaten-down team with an on-floor leader who, truth be told, does not fit in with the “culture” they like to think they created in the Bay Area, and they kind of look like every other struggling franchise at the moment.
In fact, here we are, with the Warriors, possessing the worst record in the league, squaring off against the Sacramento Kings in a Sunday night NBA game, slated to begin at 8:35 PM ET at the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco.
Those three players – Green, Curry and Thompson – are currently unavailable, and we should mention that although not too many people are talking about how Green makes everyone around him better anymore, he is still probably their best playmaker, as he’s averaged 5.9 assists per game.
Yes, D’Angelo Russell leads the team with 6.1 assists, but he’s also turned the ball over 3.3 times a game and doesn’t add a whole lot with his defense. When your point guard is averaging 22.4 points per contest, there are some guys who aren’t getting the ball, and when a guy has a Usage Rate of 32.5% while his team is 5-22, you know where the real problem lies.
Meanwhile, the Kings are tied for seventh place in the West with their 11-14 record, so they would be a playoff team (sort of) if the season ended today. It’s not great, but it’s progress. And they’re ahead of teams like San Antonio and Portland.
The Kings have actually been profitable, with a 15-10 spread record. And they are 10-4 ATS on the road.
Here are the NBA betting odds on the game, furnished by the people at BetAnySports:
Sacramento Kings -3.5
Golden State Warriors +3.5
Over 211.5 points -110
Under 211.5 points -110
Aside from the stars, there’s another Golden State injury to talk about. Eric Paschall, the forward who has averaged 16.1 points on 49% shooting, is listed as questionable with a hip injury. But in a hopeless situation like this, it’s more likely “when it doubt, sit out.” And the guy who was shooting 41.5% from the three-point arc (Ky Bowman) was sent back to the G-League.
So you’ve got that to (not) work with.
Yeah, we’re a little hard on Russell because he’s a “me” guy. The only thing that’s changed since he got in the NBA is that he’s become a better scorer. The Warriors took him from Brooklyn because he was a talent that was out there in exchange for Kevin Durant, in effect. But players like him were not what Golden State built its self-professed “culture” around. Just like Monta Ellis, who was out the door pretty quickly after the present ownership arrived.
The Warriors are 26th in Defensive Rating and 27th in Offensive Rating, and they are just 25th in attendance. So nobody wants to see this s–t-show.
Under Luke Walton, the former Warriors assistant (an one-time interim coach), Sacramento is operating at a very deliberate tempo, ranking dead last in the “Pace” category. They’re not doing anything sensational on defense; they are just limiting possessions, although surrendering 47% from the field wasn’t what Walton had in mind.
They did blow a 16-point lead in losing to the Knicks on Friday, which is kind of distressing because it broke a three-game winning streak. But Buddy Hield had 34 in the game, and he’s been a bright spot. DeAndre Fox has been sitting out with an ankle sprain, and is doubtful here. Most likely he’s going to get back into action next week.
That’s okay, if it means more time for Bogdan Bogdanovic, who close to 39% on his triples. Golden State has not guarded the perimeter, allowing 40% shooting from downtown. And by the way, Marvin Bagley is back after missing 22 games with a thumb injury, and he’s contributing off the bench.
Not sure we’re ready to back the Warriors under any circumstances, but the Kings, even without Fox, are trending more “upward.” Lay it.
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