The Golden State Warriors are throwing it back to the early part of the 2018-19 season with their lineup against the Portland Trail Blazers. While center DeMarcus Cousins has impressed since making his debut with the Warriors, he’ll get the night off on Wednesday. This game marks the final before the All-Star break for the team, and it makes sense to give Cousins a rest day.
While Warriors coach Steve Kerr has opted to allow Cousins to play decent minutes as he’s eased back in, this will be a rare day off. Through five games to start the month of February, he’s averaging 24.6 minutes and has posted 14.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. In his place on Wednesday will be Kevon Looney, who started the bulk of the games prior to Cousins returning to action.
Golden State will also be without Andre Iguodala against the Blazers, so a few players who don’t typically see big minutes could receive increased playing time. With that said, let’s take a look at the Warriors roster and starting lineup for this game.
Warriors Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Trail Blazers
*Notates expected starter
C: Kevon Looney*, Jordan Bell
PF: Draymond Green*, Jonas Jerebko
SF: Kevin Durant*, Marcus Derrickson
SG: Klay Thompson*, Alfonzo McKinnie
PG: Stephen Curry*, Quinn Cook
The Warriors are fairly thin in this game and could see names like Quinn Cook and Alfonzo McKinnie receive some extended run here. As Basketball Monster details, Cook actually sees a nice usage increase with the aforementioned players (and Shaun Livingston) off the floor. His usage jumps from 20.7 to 23.1, although it’s a small sample size.
It’s likely the “big four” of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will do the bulk of the heavy lifting, though. All four players have put together solid seasons, but additional minutes should funnel to Green specifically as he could play center in small-ball lineups.
Warriors’ Impressive Recent Stretch
Golden State has been locked in as of late, and the team has lost just one of 11 games with Cousins in the lineup. Even going back further than that, they’ve now won 16 of the past 17 and 18 of the previous 20 games. The only two losses came against the Houston Rockets in overtime and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Warriors have overtaken the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and stretched their lead to three games over the Denver Nuggets and four over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Beyond those two, the next-closest teams are the Portland Trail Blazers and Rockets who entered Wednesday eight games back of first place.