After the Warriors dominated the New Orleans Pelicans, 134-123, en route to their first W of the 2019-20 season, the veteran forward had one message for the NBA universe — the Warriors still suck.
Golden State certainly didn’t suck for one night. Green posted a triple-double stat line of 16 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists while Stephen Curry led the way with 26 points and 11 assists. The star duo were complimented by a superior performance from fellow All-Star D’Angelo Russell, who finished the night with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Warriors put on a vintage performance so much so that they led by as many as 29 points. Considering Golden State was blown out in their first two games of the season by the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, the win over the Pelicans was a massive relief.
However, it’s clear that beating the winless Pelicans — a squad that is still playing without top pick Zion Williamson — didn’t impress Green by any means.
Steve Kerr: Stephen Curry Is Not James Harden
If your solution to the Warriors’ problems this season was to turn Curry into a version of James Harden — AKA a ball-dominant player — that’s just not going to happen in Golden State.
Head coach Steve Kerr explained prior to the game versus the Pelicans why the Warriors just can’t make Curry into a clone of Harden — because they just don’t have the personnel to do so.
Via ESPN’s Nick Friedell:
“I don’t know that it’s that simple,” Kerr said. “We could turn him into James Harden and give him the ball every play. That’s really hard to do and you have to build a team for that. Houston has put five shooters on the floor for years now with Harden to give him that space.
We don’t have that kind of personnel, so there’s not the same spacing. And that kind of basketball wears you out, too. Especially for a guy who’s 180 pounds like Steph is. So I don’t think the answer is just to run a million high screens. We don’t really have the personnel for that. And I don’t think it makes a ton of sense from Steph’s standpoint.”
Well, Kerr has a point. Harden is surrounded by good shooters in Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and prior to this season, Chris Paul.
Curry has….absolutely no one. The Warriors are literally starting guys — Glenn Robinson III and Marquese Chriss — who wouldn’t be in any other team’s starting lineup.
The bottom line is, the Warriors are strapped personnel-wise this season. It’s hard not to envision this team getting steamrolled on many nights, especially considering they have nine players that are 23 years or younger.
D’Angelo Russell Finally Makes His Impact Felt For Warriors
Speaking of guys 23 years or younger, Russell actually had a good game in a Warriors jersey. Just one day after getting ejected in the Thunder loss, the fifth-year point guard illustrated why the Warriors traded for him during the offseason.
Russell spoke of his chemistry with Curry in this game — a game where they combined for 50 total points.
“You try to build on that every game, try to build and see where you can get openings,” Russell said of the play. “Just make it easier for guys like that. He takes a lot of attention, so any way I can make it easier for him.”