Despite the Warriors’ comeback win against the Clippers on Friday, coach Steve Kerr still faced questions regarding his starting lineup, mostly due to the underwhelming play of forward Kelly Oubre.
Wow. For a team with such troubles, that was an impressive win against LA. But Kerr admitted his new starting five has yet to find it’s rhythm, and he also addressed the Oubre situation, per Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.
Here’s a bit more insight on Oubre from Kerr, via Thompson’s colleague, Anthony Slater.
It’s too bad that an incredible win couldn’t hide the ineffectiveness of Oubre. The Warriors acquired him as they were scrambling a bit after the injury to Klay Thompson, and the expectations alone got Oubre off to a bad start. He’s pressed from the 3-point line and is shooting just 6 for 42 from distance. That’s 14 percent! Incredible. He shot 0 for 3 on Friday, 2 for 7 overall for 6 points in 21 minutes.
And his poor shooting has spread to other parts of his game, too. Most notably, a gosh-awful entry pass to Andrew Wiggins in the post on Friday night. It just seems like he got a growing case of the ‘yips,’ as in a loss of confidence that impacts the mental aspect of his game. He shot 4 for 6 from 3-point land a few games ago, but that didn’t shake him out of it and it appears to be getting worse.
Kerr is still trying to build his confidence though. He drew up two or three inbounds plays for Oubre and he delivered. Still, his outside shot suffered. His suspect play is affecting the other starters — Steph Curry, Wiggins, Draymond Green and James Wiseman. Together, Golden State’s starters were minus-20 in 13 minutes together on Friday, according to The Athletic.
I proposed starting Damion Lee in place of Oubre a few posts ago, so that could be one option–if Kerr is to make a move, that is. Ourbre is a talented player, however, and whatever Kerr has to do to make his talent shine in Golden State, that’s what he’s got to do. Some players respond to some time on the bench. It could potentially relieve the pressure of replacing Thompson.
So what should Kerr do? He may have already made his move, giving more minutes to 3-point sharpshooters (for the Warriors, anyway,) Lee and Mychal Mulder in the Warriors’ big win on Friday. But I don’t expect Kerr to remove Oubre from the starting lineup, especially if they keep racking up wins like they did in Round 2 against the Clippers. Kerr will keep playing his new starting five until they find that groove.