The Golden State Warriors have finished their slew of preseason games and are now turning their attention to the upcoming game against the Brooklyn Nets to kick off their 2020-21 NBA season.
While they may be entering the year shorthanded with their superstar shooting guard, and five-time All-Star, Klay Thompson out for the entire season due to tearing his right Achilles hours before the 2020 NBA Draft, they are still confident they can compete and be one of the better teams in the NBA’s stacked western conference.
Some of that confidence comes from their past prestige and still having former two-time MVP Steph Curry, who missed the majority of last season due to a broken hand, and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, recovering from testing positive for coronavirus, both back and ready to lead this team as best they can.
Another angle on that confidence would be the belief in oneself and what a player coming into the organization can bring. That leads us to Golden State newcomer, Kelly Oubre Jr., who has his eyes set on being a defensive force the team can rely on.
I love it, it’s fun for me.
I’m 6-foot-7, 7-foot-2 wingspan, a lot of opposing point guards are definitely smaller than me. It’s just fun being able to keep up with the little fast guys and kinda make them annoyed.
Who Are His Defensive Inspirations?
In speaking on how he can impact the team and what’ll he bring on the defensive side of the ball, Oubre Jr. spoke at length about players currently in the league he studies for tips on that end of the court and who inspires him.
One person that I always give credit to is Jrue Holiday.
He is a great defender because he knows where to put his body in spots so that he doesn’t waste movement. He knows how to get through screens, how to push you through [dribble hand-offs], things like that.
He kept going on and even brought up former Los Angeles Laker and current Miami Heat guard Avery Bradley.
I’ve been able to really just watch him grow throughout his career. He’s definitely somebody I look at on the defensive end to be a great on-ball defender.
Full Kelly Oubre soundbite on his defense. Mentions Jrue Holiday and Avery Bradley as on-ball hounds whose film/strategies he tracks. pic.twitter.com/y7PAcB1JEB
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 17, 2020
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Which Warrior Oubre Jr. ‘Can’t Wait’ To Play With
Oubre Jr. knows this season can be a special one for him. Coming off a career year, as a member of the Phoenix Suns he averaged 18.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, and shot 35.2% from beyond the arc.
Yet last season the Suns were competing just to make it to the playoffs. With the Warriors, the expectations are much higher as they compete yearly to win titles. Knowing this, he’s not only looking forward to growing while helping the team do so, but also to wreaking “havoc” with his University of Kansas brethren, Andrew Wiggins.
He’s a great dude. He’s very low key like myself. We get to connect in being introverts. It’s really a great feeling to finally be able to play with him. When I went on my visit to Kansas, he was there, obviously. And I got to talk to him and just ask him some questions to pick his brain. Now that we’re on the same side — we’ve always had that bond and that connection that we can just continue to follow through with.
Havoc. I can’t wait to wreak it with my boy.