When star guard Klay Thompson suffered a season-ending Achilles injury before this year’s campaign started, the Warriors, in typical light-years fashion, quickly acquired the young and brash Kelly Oubre Jr. to replace much of what was lost with Thompson.
Now really, how realistic was that?
Not very. The concept of Oubre replacing Thompson, even if the notion was just floating in the air and not necessarily a concrete equation, was folly from the start and put Oubre at an immediate disadvantage, perception wise. Thompson is just too good.
With that reality floating in the background, a rocky start from Oubre has snowballed, and he’s floundering terribly at the moment, even as the Warriors’ record sits and 5-4 after an impressive win against the Clippers. His 3-point shot has been awful, and I mean 14 percent-type awful. And that terrible performance has impacted the rest of his game. He looks a bit lost, unfortunately.
Oubre didn’t play a minute of Golden State’s incredible comeback, losing late-game minutes to guards Damion Lee and Mychal Mulder, who are better shooters right now, and maybe in general. They helped open the floor for Stephen Curry, who exploded for 38 points in the win.
But I gotta say, I’m not trippin’ about Oubre. It’s not quite “Much Ado About Nothing,” in a reference to a very old playwright (Shakespeare but you knew that, I’m confident), but it’s close.
The Warriors are clearly still trying to find their way. With a bevy of new players, rotations are being calculated by coach Steve Kerr and staff. Through all the shuffling and identity building, Golden State is above .500 with a couple of quality wins. That’s especially encouraging considering the Warriors’ first two games, when they were blown out twice.
And while Oubre is struggling at the moment, he’s one of the Warriors’ most talented players. He’s a solid piece, which the Warriors will surely need. Given that the Warriors are winning ballgames, he has more time to find his own way, which Kerr is confident will happen.
Of course, it remains possible that Oubre won’t break out of his funk. Here’s a lighter side of that notion, courtesy of Warriors Reddit.
Like I said: young and brash. But it’s likely that Oubre will eventually help the Warriors win crucial matchups. He’s too talented. He’s no Klay Thompson, but he’s certainly capable of playing much better than he is now. Given the Warriors sky-high salary cap situation, they’re lucky to have a player like Oubre on the team at all, especially on short notice via trade. He’s a piece the Warriors need, and as long as Golden State keeps winning, he figures to be a major component of a playoff run.