Steph Curry will be sidelined for at least the first round as he recovers from injury. What does the Golden State Warriors roster and starting five look like without Curry? Quinn Cook has been starting at point guard for Curry, and is expected to continue in that role against the Spurs in the playoffs. According to The Mercury News, Patrick McCaw will not play in the first round either as he continues to recover.
Here’s a look at the Warriors projected starting lineup and rotation without Curry.
C- ZaZa Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, Damian Jones
PF- Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher
SF- Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Patrick McCaw*
SG- Klay Thompson, Nick Young
PG- Quinn Cook, Shaun Livingston, Steph Curry*
The team waived Omri Casspi to make room for Cook on the Warriors playoff roster. Draymond Green explained to The Mercury News that the team has a lot of faith in Cook.
“We feel very comfortable going into these playoffs with him as the starting point guard,” Green told The Mercury News. “We’re good.”
Cook has played 33 games for the Warriors, and started 18 games for Golden State. Cook is averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds this season for the Warriors. Over the last month, Cook has had his share of breakout performances notching five games with 20 or more points.
Cook was a two-way player for the Warriors, meaning he split time between the Santa Cruz Warriors (G-League affiliate) and Golden State. According to NBA.com, his stellar play has been rewarded as Cook was signed to a multiyear contract prior to the start of the playoffs. Cook averaged 25.3 points, 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in the G-League. Prior to entering the league, Cook played at Duke.
Golden State has a few new players to throw at teams in the 2018 playoffs. Nick Young and Jordan Bell were new additions to the team over the off-season. Young is averaging 7.3 points and 1.6 rebounds this season, and provides the Warriors with instant offense off the bench. Bell has shined in his rookie season for Golden State. The big man is averaging 4.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and a block.
Despite lofty expectations, the Warriors missed out on winning the West during the regular season and are the No. 2 seed. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr insists the expectations have not been lowered.
“We are going into the playoffs with the idea that we’re going to accept every challenge and going for it,” Kerr told The Mercury News. “Our intention is to hang another banner. That’s our goal. That’s what we think is going to happen. I’m confident in that.”
The Warriors took three out of four regular season matchups against the Spurs this season. San Antonio won their last matchup in March, but the Warriors were without Durant and Curry. Durant rejects the idea that the Warriors are attempting to flip a switch in the postseason.
“It’s easier to prepare for a team that you know who you’re going to play for a week,” Durant noted to The Mercury News. “I wouldn’t call it flipping a switch. It’s knowing to lock in on certain sets, certain players and certain tendencies.”