The Warriors have seen their starting lineup and bench rotation change multiple times this season, mostly due to injuries — and some tinkering by coach Steve Kerr.
That was the case during Golden State’s impressive win over the Bucks on Saturday when Kerr started Jordan Poole alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to incredible effect. After the game, Kerr said to expect more changes to the starting lineup and rotation, even when the NBA Playoffs start in April.
“What’s becoming apparent to me, this year, is that we could have a different starting lineup from game to game in the playoffs, series to series,” Kerr said. “This is not the Warriors from five years ago when you knew exactly what was coming. We got a lot of really good pieces, but we have some new ones, some unproven ones. We have to be able to adjust quickly on the fly if things aren’t going well. Because we’re not a veteran team in terms of having a set eight-, nine-man rotation.”The Athletic
So while Kerr started his 21st different lineup this season, he says to expect more change. Though Saturday’s lineup was spectacular, there’s no doubt it will be altered soon because Golden State is missing multiple roster pieces, most notably forward Draymond Green.
Each lineup has one thing in common, however: its relation to Curry. On Saturday against the Bucks, Poole and Thompson, along with F Andrew Wiggins, took advantage of the extra attention Curry always receives on offense by hitting open shots.
Eventually, this should convince teams to stop guarding Curry more closely than any player in the NBA is guarded. That’s merely a theory, of course. Curry is so deadly, I wouldn’t blame them for taking their chances, even with Thompon, Poole and Wiggins.
But with just eight players seeing minutes against Milwaukee and Green, James Wiseman, Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, and Gary Payton II all set to return, even Kerr probably doesn’t know exactly how this is going to go as the season winds down. He’ll undoubtedly settle on some lineups and rotations, but expect Kerr to keep switching it up — much as he did in the 2015 NBA Finals, inserting Iguodala into the starting lineup and changing the series in Golden State’s favor.