Warriors Preparation: 7 Things to Watch

The Golden State Warriors almost They started pre-seasonAnd, while I don’t expect you to stay up until 3am to watch a match happening in Japan (and you shouldn’t expect me to stay until 3am to cover it), we’ll all be looking at the box score, note the highlights, and maybe watch the replay.

After two matches against Washington WizardsDubs will return home for the October 9 pre-season match against Los Angeles Lakers. Following them will get a little easier after that.

There is a lot to watch during the five matches before trying to repeat the mission Starts October 18. Here are seven things I will be watching.

Rest James Wiseman

We all know the physical skills James Wiseman has. He’s incredibly tall and strong, and has an athletic spirit that’s hard to believe. He has a soft touch around the edge, and a very good jump. We also know his weaknesses. He struggles defensively, makes a lot of mistakes, has problems with passes, and often prefers to move away from the basket than to move towards it.

None of these things will change overnight. He will enter the season with those strengths being the strengths, those weaknesses being the weaknesses, and he will try to improve the former and work on the latter.

What we still don’t know is his comfort level. The Warriors read-and-respond offense, while simple in concept, is incredibly challenging to master, in large part due to the speed you need to be able to make decisions. The Warriors struggled with many players, particularly the quarterback (hello, Damian Jones), who had the talent but couldn’t keep up with the system.

Wiseman is a giant question mark in that region. If he appears comfortable with plays and decision making, he will cement his position as a major contributor for years to come. if not? We can already count down his days in the Warriors jersey.

Quinndary Witherspoon

I don’t watch anything about Quinndary Weatherspoon in particular, I’ll just watch. Weatherspoon opens camp with a two-way contract, and similar to previous Warriors in two ways like Quinn Cook and Damion Lee, it feels like a bigger part of the roster than the two-way designation might suggest. It’s in the team’s social posts. He’s getting more time from the PR department.

Fans weren’t impressed with this, given that Weatherspoon wasn’t great last year in limited minutes. But Dubs really liked what they saw of him in practice and in the G League (where he put up flashy numbers). I don’t think they’ll finish 15th on the list – not yet, at least – but Weatherspoon looking less project-like and more veteran-like will go a long way toward being part of the rotation going forward.

health rookie

One of the best news out of camp is that the junior Warriors, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins, healthy. Both players missed the summer league (one with an ankle injury, the second with a broken foot), and there were questions entering training camp about whether or not they were healthy.

They both confirmed to the media that they were, but we need to see him in court. Baldwin struggled with his ankle for a few years, and although he’s been squabbling since July, playing honest basketball games is a different matter. Rollins said he’s still unable to work himself into the game’s format after being flat for so long.

See if they look healthy and comfortable when moving around the court.

Jonathan Kuminga’s control

Jonathan Kuminga’s role is not set for the start of the year. Rookie mistakes and out-of-control play could result in him getting a small role on the bench again. A step forward and a play in control could result in him becoming a man who gets an extra 20 minutes off the bench every night.

I’m looking forward to see if he plays into control. There is a temptation for young players – especially those who choose the lottery – to show, and Kuminga has the talent and athletic performance to do so. But in order to earn serious minutes, he needs to show a great deal of control by harnessing his sport and playing a disciplined defense.

It starts in the pre-season.

Excellent camp

Unlike last year, when Gary Payton II, Avery Bradley, Mychal Mulder and others were vying for a spot on the roster, there weren’t many campfires here. I fully expect the Warriors to start the season with a vacant spot on the #15 roster. I strongly believe Weatherspoon will take a two-way spot.

So if there’s a fight going on, it’s probably the second two-way contract. This contract is currently held by Lester QuiƱones, but many Warriors fans have become fascinated by Mac McClung and Trevion Williams. We’ll see if anyone from this trio can emerge as a player the Warriors don’t want to risk losing.

PBJ’s bird

One of the first stories to come out of the boot camp was Baldwin’s Leap, that looks really pretty. The poll report on Baldwin’s college entrance was that he had a smooth jump, but that wasn’t conclusively shown in his 11 college ball games.

It’s too early to make a judgment on whether PBJ will be a good shooter this year, or in his career, but I’ll be watching to see what his jump looks like. He has already declared his desire to work hard on defense and rebound in an effort to gain minutes… This task is made easier if he proves to the coaching staff that he is a trustworthy choice when left alone outside of the arc.

health

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention any of the big players. Because we know who Steve Curry is. We know who Draymond Green is. We know who Jordan Paul, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Looney, and Andre Iguodala are. For the most part, we know who Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green are. You can prove we don’t know who Klay Thompson is this year, but nothing he does in pre-season is going to change that.

But the four-episode core of Steve, Clay, Dray, and Andre are all a year older, and all have suffered injuries in their careers.

Please keep October 18 healthy, Dubs. That’s all I ask.

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