The Golden State Warriors‘ championship run yielded rewards beyond the opportunity to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Finishing the campaign as the lone team standing may have been the Warriors’ ultimate goal but, along the way, they also discovered some valuable things about themselves.
Kevon Looney was revealed as a player who could actually swing an entire playoff series. Andrew Wiggins showed himself to be one of the game’s elite two-way ballers, a concept that was unthinkable just a few years prior. And Stephen Curry proved that he’s still that dude.
Meanwhile, Steve Kerr’s hunch that he had a lineup to rule all others turned out to be true when Steph, Wiggs, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green finally got the chance to share the court.
As one analyst sees it, that five-man crew should continue to assert its dominance in 2022-23.
B/R: Dubs Must Feature Resurrected ‘Death Lineup’
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report‘s Andy Bailey went deep on small-ball lineups, singling out the five-man unit for every team in the Association that “needs to be showcased.” It should come as no surprise that Kerr’s revamped “death lineup” got the nod for the Bay Area crew.
As noted by Bailey, the Warriors outscored their opponents by a whopping 13.8 points per 100 possessions in the 104 minutes that the aforementioned ballers hit the hardwood together. The hoops scribe envisions more of the same occurring next season, too:
Although he’s now 32, Draymond remains one of the most consistent, effective and unique small-ball 5s in the league. He can defend all over the floor, including the post. That makes this lineup less susceptible to being bullied than most of the others featured here.
With him orchestrating from the middle of the floor, and Stephen Curry, Klay, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins flying all around him, this figures to be one of the best lineups in the league next season.
For Green, the excess of passing options is what brings everything together in such an incredible way.
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In the wake of the Warriors’ Game 2 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Round 1, Green didn’t mince words when describing the way in which the death lineup opens up his world as a distributor.
“It’s passer’s paradise for me,” he declared. “Steph and Jordan, they roam differently than Klay. Theirs is more just kind of fluid and you know you have to keep an eye on them because they’re moving all over the place. Klay is a little different; Klay is going to roam when it’s time for him to get to a spot for a shot…
“The one weak shooter out there around me with that group is Wiggins, and I think he shoots like 37% from three or something like that and I’m living with Wig shooting that three. So, for me, I mean you can’t ask for anything more on the offensive end, any more options than that.”