Warriors general manager Bob Myers traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. when star guard Klay Thompson went down with injury, and though it’s taken a while, the brash young player is fulfilling his promise in a Golden State uniform.
Oubre shot just 4.8 percent from 3-point range in the month of December, and his terrible percentage from distance appeared to affect the rest of his game. But he’s earned three consecutive double-double performances, filling the role of rebounder as Warriors centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney are out with injury.
That’s a relief to everyone in the organization, perhaps especially for owner Joe Lacob. He coughed up roughly $80 million in luxury taxes to bring Oubre into the fold when Thomson injured his Achilles.
But his run of good play goes back further than three games, also to Lacob’s delight. According to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oubre’s averages for the last eight games are right in line with what Myers must have expected.
His three consecutive double-doubles are a career high. Over Oubre’s past eight games, he has averaged 19.3 points on 47.9% shooting (44% from 3-point range), 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists.San Francisco Chronicle
Letourneau’s article details how Oubre turned to the art of mediation to help him through his rough patch that coincided with the start of his Warriors career. He’s been turning to the practice for years now, but it’s fair to say that during his basketball life, he never needed to clear his thoughts more than now.
A lot of credit for Oubre’s turnaround goes to coach Steve Kerr, as well. He kept Oubre in the starting lineup, despite some statistics that suggested he place his new acquisition on the bench. Kerr kept inisisting that Oubre’s defense was the key, and that his offense would come around.
That’s happened for the last eight games, clearly. Now, Oubre has to keep it up. His next opportunity comes Monday night when Golden State welcomes the Cavaliers to Chase Center for another pivotal match up.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)