In the past few games, the Golden State Warriors have seemed to be struggling a little bit. Ever since ripping off 10 straight thanks to a trip to the weak Eastern Conference, the Warriors have gone 2-5.
Their bench has not been a help at all. When the Warriors dealt Toney Douglas for Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks, they were making a move to improve their bench. Personally, I thought this was a great trade for the Warriors. Mark Jackson, however, doesn’t seem to give Crawford enough time for him to be effective, however.
Bleacher Report’s Vytis Lasaitis says
Crawford might not find himself playing in crunch time much, but if he can help to keep the offense afloat playing alongside Curry and running the point on his own, he could eventually see more minutes and allow Jackson to have his starters on fresher legs in late-game situations.
Last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Harrison Barnes, who has been struggling lately, was put in the position where he had to take one of the biggest shots of his young career. Because Barnes has been struggling with his jump shot lately, he clanked the open jump-shot, and the Wolves escaped by a narrow margin of victory at 121-120.
If Crawford was indeed in the game during crunch time, minutes which he is not going to see, then he may have given the Warriors more of an offensive weapon. He’s been shooting a high % from the field since he was traded to the Warriors. He has been averaging just 6.5 points per game and 14 minutes per game. If Barnes is struggling Crawford, being the scorer that he is, may be the solution.
As of now, he seems to be easing into the rotation a little bit. Jackson needs to increase his minutes now, however. When the Warriors are having offensive slumps, he can easily shoot his way out of it because he’s the type of player that makes both coaches nervous. But he sure knows how to create a shot for himself.
Since Barnes has not been able to do this in recent games, Crawford is the Warriors’ best option for bench scoring. Their second unit has been really struggling with this, even since the trade.
In regards to the bench, the Warriors have a little bit more of raw talent, on the very end of it. The other guy who came from Boston, Marshon Brooks is a gem, and the Warriors could make use of him. His rookie year with the Brooklyn Nets, he was able to average 12.4 points per game, earning himself a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team. Unfortunately, he was yanked from the rotation and never got the chance to see his game grow.
If Coach Jackson, by some off chance, is actually reading this, he should give Brooks the opportunity to become one of the Warriors’ primary scorers off the bench along with Crawford. These two may be streaky, but they both know how to put the ball in the basket. Other than Mareesse Speights, no other Warrior is really giving them anything off the bench, so why not try it out?
The final, and probably most effective way the Warriors can get back on track is trying to utilize an All-Defensive Lineup. This would feature the Warriors’ best defenders in Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut, Kent Bazemore, and Draymond Green. Yes, I just emphasized the Warriors’ need to play Brooks and Crawford, but this defensive lineup, when the Warriors have their offensive game flowing, will allow them to gain some separation.
If all of these guys are working hard on the defensive end, Thompson and Bazemore will be able to attack the basket and dish the ball. This lineup, whether on the perimeter or the inside, sure knows how to stay in front of their men.
If Jackson wants his team to start winning some more games, he will make more use of Crawford and Brooks, as well as implement an impenetrable defensive lineup. If the Warriors can use these techniques, a win over Portland shouldn’t be a problem.