This road trip was already slated to be one of the tougher ones of the season for the Golden State Warriors. Then Andrew Wiggins went down, followed by Stephen Curry; and then it was Draymond Green for a bit. As a result of all of that, it has thrust the second timeline back into the limelight, and sure enough, that cake still isn’t baked yet. After sort of hanging around through the first half against the New York Knicks, the Warriors were blasted out of the gym. Hopefully tonight goes a little differently.
Hope being the key tonight, because Golden State is still playing extremely short-handed as they visit Kevin Durant and his red hot Brooklyn Nets.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (15-17) at Brooklyn Nets (19-12)
WHEN: Wednesday, December 21st, 2022 // 4:30pm PDT
WATCH: NBCSBA / NBATV
Long before Christmas was around, the Pagans had a winter festival built around the Winter Solstice (which is today). This is the shortest day of the year, the turning point where days start to get longer again, signaling the beginning of the end of winter. Decorating trees, eating big meals together with loved ones, hanging up socks by the fireplace, and a bunch of other “Christmas” traditions actually predate Christmas.
The theme of finding a reason to celebrate in the dead of winter is something that Warriors fans could use a bit of tonight. I’m not entirely sure that these are indeed the darkest days of the season, but it sure feels like it. The slope is steepening. With a roster already carrying a heavy burden of developmental players, the loss of Curry, Wiggins, and Green (for a bit) is pulling down on the current reality.
Tonight’s opponent won’t offer any mercy. A Nets team featuring ex-Warriors Kevin Durant, and the dude who hit some daggers to derail the big 73-9 season? Some of these matchups are indeed personal; and tonight will be a night of vengeance.
Is tonight the darkest for Golden State? The main problem as I see it as that there’s no quick way out of this. Waiting for internal development is the primary plan here, but as the team racks up losses, patience is wearing thinner and thinner. Folks are starting to look more and more seriously at nuclear options. With the youth movement holding limited value, there aren’t any easy answers left.
No. Not yet.
The Warriors aren’t out on their youth movement, and they sure as heck aren’t trading away a core that won a championship just a handful of months ago.
So who can step up like Hot Rod and lead us from our darkest hour?
James Wiseman is still extremely raw. The offensive talent is in there, but the development curve plotted against the timeline of this team’s needs are not in alignment. Here’s a fantastic graphic with a ton of information:
It’s probably not fair to even include Wiseman in this table, but as far as opportunity costs go, you can quickly see how far away we are from viability.
Let’s put that all aside for a moment. Wiseman and the youngsters don’t have a lot of trade value, if any, so staying the course seems like the most likely option for the Warriors at this point. The one bonus of all these injuries right now is that it means guys like Kuiminga and Moody are going to some wiggle room and plenty of playing time.
How deep will this slide go? Is this the darkest day of the year?
Thankfully, after tonight, Golden State gets a few days off to rest and recuperate. They need it, badly.
This is indeed one of the darkest days, but at least we all have each other!