Warriors Big Three, who’s the first to go? – News Block

The Golden State Warriors have developed one of the biggest and most successful trios in the NBA in recent history.

Unconventional in today’s era of superstars leaving organizations sporadically, the Warriors have kept Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the Bay Area for more than a decade.

However, Golden State looked like a shell of itself in the second round of the playoffs against the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, losing in six games. This was the first time the Warriors had been eliminated outside of the Finals under Steve Kerr.

A matchup the Warriors wouldn’t have happened if not for Curry’s miraculous 50-point performance to overcome the Sacramento Kings in Game 7.

On the other hand, offensive production became almost a rogue operation for Curry against the Lakers.

In the last three games of the Lakers’ series, Thompson earned 27 points on a paltry 9-42 shooting; 180 complete from the first three games where Thompson averaged 23.3 points per game on a 44.2% shooting percentage.

Meanwhile, Green has been a first for his entire career.

Rumors instantly exploded once video of Green punching teammate Jordan Poole in October 2022 leaked. Many thought Green would be traded for his theatrics, but Golden State never pulled the trigger.
Green is 33 years old and has been on a steady decline in recent years; His role on offense is strange.

In six games, Green only attempted more than 10 shots twice against the Lakers. However, Green made his presence felt in rebounds, assists and defensive stops, playing more of a ‘utility’ role.

But the Warriors needed offense to keep up with the Lakers.

The Warriors had the 10th best offensive rating in the regular season, while the Lakers ranked 19th. The Lakers’ defensive rating was 12 and Golden State was 14.

On paper, the Warriors look like the superior team.

However, in the playoffs, the Warriors ranked ninth in offensive rating, one spot behind the Lakers. Once again, Los Angeles passed the Warriors for the fourth best defense, one ahead of the Warriors.

In the final three games of the series, it became apparent that Curry was forcing shots in hopes of rejuvenating the Warriors’ scoring.

In the regular season, Curry averaged 20.2 shots per game; in Games 4-6 Curry attempted 27.3 attempts. It just wasn’t enough.

Thompson shied away from shooting in the second half of the series. One of the Warriors’ spark plugs, Poole, had started the Kings’ series, but shot a poor 34.5% against the Lakers and even went scoreless in game 4.

Lastly, Andrew Wiggins, an All-Star last season, only averaged 15 points per game against the Lakers. Despite shooting 45.2% from the field, Wiggins also passively attempted fewer than 11 shots in three games.

Overall, the Warriors’ front office could consider turning things around in the Bay Area.

Green’s contract ends after the 2023-24 season and he has yet to sign an extension. Thompson has only played 91 games in the last three seasons and is also closing in on a contract that will expire after the 2023-24 season as well.

Obviously, Golden State has had great success with its dynasty spanning nearly a decade. A lot of attention, pressure and expectation is put on the franchise.

In my opinion, I think the Warriors will drop Green first because he’s 33 and just doesn’t have much potential left in the tank. Although Green has been recognized as the heart of Golden State, he, too, has drawn negative attention at times.

This season, Green recorded the most technical fouls and is tied for second all-time in ejections.

Thompson is loved by Golden State fans, and I imagine the Warriors front office has a harder time deciding to let him go. However, Thompson is a replaceable player.

According to Bleacher Report, Thompson was ranked 43rd among the NBA’s top 100 players heading into the 2022-23 season, ahead of talents like De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Jaren Jackson Jr., so take that as you will.

Lastly, the centerpiece of the dynasty, Curry is 35 years old. If he wanted to, he could play until he was 40, but I don’t know if it’s his wish.

There’s nothing else Curry can prove, finally winning that illustrious Finals MVP trophy last season, four straight championships and MVPs, more than cementing his placement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

One thing that is certain is that Golden State will compete. After an injury-plagued 2019-2020 season that saw the Warriors drop to 15-50, some speculated about the end of his dynasty run, but that was evidently not true.

The Warriors always have a shot at greatness with the greatest shooter of all time leading the way.

Isaiah Pinto

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