“Yeah, it’s a possibility,” Kerr told reporters after the Warriors suffered their fourth straight loss Tuesday night. “You know, we love the lineup that we’ve started the last couple of years and we want to give that unit every opportunity to get going and we know when [Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson] are shooting the ball well, that lineup makes perfect sense.”
But they’re not shooting well to start this season.
Thompson is only shooting 42.5% while Wiggins is just hitting 39.5% of his shots.
Last season, the Warriors’ starting five of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney had the best net rating of plus-21.9 among lineups with a minimum of 100 minutes played together.
“We’d have two full seasons of that to show for it,” Kerr said of their old starting unit.
But the Warriors could not live in the past and hope to extend their rapidly closing title window with Curry.
Dario Saric as Floor Spacer
So, who could it be that X-factor that could jolt that struggling Curry supporting cast in the starting lineup?
It’s not Chris Paul, who is at this point of his career, perfectly fit as the Warriors’ Sixth Man.
“If we’re struggling to score then Dario [Saric] does change the chessboard with his pick and pop and his ability to stretch the floor and, and so, everything’s a possibility at this point,” Kerr said.
Saric has played well over the Warriors’ last two games, averaging 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. But more than his gaudy numbers, Saric proved Kerr’s point when he started in Tuesday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Croatian journeyman drew Rudy Gobert away from the paint, which opened up the lane for the Warriors to penetrate which rookie Brandin Podziemski took advantage of in the first three quarters.
Brandin Podziemski Earns His Stripes
Podziemski’s gem of a game has also made Kerr rethink his rotation moving forward.
“He’s gonna play every night,” Kerr said after Podziemski dropped a career-high 23 points on the NBA’s top defense.
Podziemski had only played 28 minutes across four games before Tuesday night. He wound up playing a game-high 39 minutes, an unheard-of for a rookie under Kerr’s watch.
“I think he can play backup point guard,” Kerr said of Podziemski. “But I think he’s just a basketball player. So we can play him anywhere. The beauty of him is that the game connects when he’s out there. I’m excited to see him play with Steph and Klay. He’s gonna get those guys a lot of shots just with the way he plays, and the way the ball moves. So we’ll see. We’ll have to figure it out.”
Saric wants to play with Podziemski, whom he describes as “brave” and a “great fighter.”
“When you see a fighter like that, you want to go battle with him,” Saric said of the feisty rookie.
Podziemski will play heavy minutes again with Curry still out Thursday night against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder. Saric will soak up Green’s minutes after the fiery forward’s five-game suspension for his chokehold of Rudy Gobert.
The emergence of the rookie-veteran duo could mean smaller playing time to be split among Gary Payton II, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.