You could say it’s been a theme of the early Warriors season: What’s up with Kelly Oubre Jr.?
The last-second acquisition, after Golden State lost star guard Klay Thompson, has looked lost at times in San Francisco, causing observers to question his role in the starting lineup.
Kerr hasn’t wavered on Oubre’s starting spot — he’s too valuable on defense, the coach said. But Kerr isn’t blind. He could see Oubre’s struggles on offense as well. In the Warriors big 115-113 win against the champion Lakers in LA on Monday, Kerr made a move with his rotation to free up the young and brash Oubre, according to Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Oubre responded with 23 points on 9 for 18 shooting, with multiple game-changing plays on defense. Part of his trouble has been learning to play with the unique superstar, Stephen Curry. But with Curry off the court, it freed up Oubre to be himself. While ideally they can thrive together, the move made a difference in the 19-point comeback.
I’ve never seen Oubre finish with such skillful layups as he did on Monday night, either. He looked unstoppable when he got to the rim. This is an extremely positive sign for Golden State as they attempt to build a playoff team once again.