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sport / / BANG: Analysis: Warriors’ young players have flaws — but there are fixes

o BANG: Analysis: Warriors’ young players have flaws — but there are fixesAllen

BANG: Analysis: Warriors’ young players have flaws — but there are fixes


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG:_Analysis:_Warriors’_young_players_have_
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2024 17:43:54 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 15 Mar 2024 00:43 UTC

Analysis: Warriors’ young players have flaws — but there are fixes
Trayce Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski can keep flourishing as
rookies with a few tweaks

>Golden State Warriors’ Moses Moody #4 is congratulated by Brandin
Podziemski #2 after scoring in the second quarter of their NBA game
against the Houston Rockets at the Chase Center in San Francisco,
Calif., on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
By JANNELLE MOORE | Warriors Analyst
PUBLISHED: March 13, 2024 at 5:35 a.m. | UPDATED: March 13, 2024 at 5:28

The ascension of a player is a beautiful and addicting thing to watch.

First, you see his potential and invest. It’s even better when you see
immediate returns. At this point, you want more. You want to see him
grow up and glow up. You want to see the All-Star appearances. You want
to see, if he is as good as you believe, championships and MVPs. More
realistically, you want to watch him thrive as a solid rotational piece
and a main contributor to your team.

However, the process of progression generally doesn’t work this way.
This road isn’t smooth and linear. It’s a road with its share of
potholes, loose gravel, and detours.

No one knows the realities of development more than the Golden State
Warriors’ young quartet of Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski, Moses
Moody and Trayce Jackson-Davis. They are playing through fluctuating
minutes (Moody, Jackson-Davis) and their own mistakes (Kuminga,
Podziemski), all amid expectations of a fifth title for the aging core
of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. It’s too much for
young players to bear all the while trying to find their niche in the

Here are some observations on the flaws of each of these players and
suggestions to move forward.

- Trayce Jackson-Davis

In his limited minutes, the rookie big from Indiana has shown promise
with his athleticism. His pivotal blocks on Giannis Antetokounmpo in
last week’s Warriors blowout of the Bucks were enough for him to earn a
start against the Spurs three days later.

In his 23 minutes, Jackson-Davis showed why he’s earned the opportunity,
scoring 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, six rebounds, and four blocks.

However, those minutes revealed a few flaws in his game. What sticks out
to me is Jackson-Davis’ proclivity to foul, trouble at the free throw
line, and his need for a reliable shot at least 10 feet out.

Against the Spurs on Saturday, Jackson-Davis had four fouls and even in
his limited minutes, he’s shown this tendency. He’s baited into fouls
like this mainly because he’s chasing blocks.

Offensively, Jackson-Davis’ athleticism allows him to effectively
rim-run, dunk, and use his muscle for easy baskets. The problem is that
he will need a few counters when opposing defenses pack the paint and
dare him to shoot.

The solution: Jackson-Davis’ fixes are easy to identify. He can keep
that same energy on defense but be disciplined. He doesn’t have to go
for the blocks every time. He can position himself to contend shots
without going for pump fakes.

Offensively, Jackson-Davis isn’t likely to be a floor spacer. However,
developing a reliable 10-to-14-foot jumper would be enough to keep
opposing defenses honest.

- Jonathan Kuminga

Kuminga’s jump on offense, for me, has never been a concern. He’s
getting downhill almost at will. He also can consistently draw fouls.
The jump that the Warriors need him to take, however, is on the
defensive end.

In his third year, Kuminga struggles with lapses on rotations and
man-to-man. Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan exploited this weakness for most
of his game-high 33 points in last week’s matchup.

In the final minute of that game, Kuminga fouled DeRozan for a go-ahead
three-point play. He stayed with DeRozan until biting on the pump fake.
In that instance as well as the others in this game, Kuminga should have
stayed put and contested a firmly established shot.

[video: JK falls for DeRozan pump fake]

Against the Spurs, he set his feet in transition but still gave Spurs
guard Blake Wesley a line drive to the basket. The line drive forces
Jackson-Davis to help. Dario Saric sagged off of Julian Champagnie for
the easy 3. The Warriors’ defense was shot at the point of attack.

[video: Spurs at Warriors full game highlights]

The solution: Kuminga’s issues with awareness will improve the more he
shares the floor with Green. In terms of his man-to-man defense and even
rebounding, it’s about effort. Kuminga has the tools to be a complete
and solid defender but he has to want it as much as the team and fans
want it for him.

- Moses Moody

A quintessential professional, Moody has shown great poise and
preparation for any moment. He stays ready so he doesn’t have to get
ready. He has been rewarded for his work with a spot in the rotation. He
has shown glimpses of being a solid defender. It’s his offense that
needs work.

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In theory, Moody would be a solid 3-and-D player who could space the
floor. The problem is that he is inconsistent. Against the Bulls, Moody
shot an efficient 4-for-9 from the field. In the next game against the
Spurs, he shot 2-for-11 from the field. Monday in San Antonio, he made
just one shot on three attempts.

Granted, this is a small sample but it’s enough to be noticeable. I’ve
also noticed that Moody struggles with ball handling. Warriors head
coach Steve Kerr prioritizes players who can consistently take care of
the ball which gives some insight as to why Moody was getting limited
minutes before.

Also, Moody appears to feel more confident in situations where the game
is already decided.

The solution: For Moody, the only way that he can improve when it comes
to shooting and even his confidence in other moments in the game is to
get more reps in. He needs more freedom to play through his mistakes.
More time in the rotation will help with that sooner.

- Brandin Podziemski

The rookie guard from Santa Clara has scrapped and hustled his way into
the Warriors’ starting lineup. He’s a very capable ball handler and a
solid rebounder for his size.

However, Podziemski’s biggest flaw is his tendency to pound the ball too
much and his tunnel vision at times.

[video: Pldz early shot clock 3]

In one third-quarter set against Chicago, Podziemski failed to wait for
the Warriors’ offense to set. He decided to shoot a 3-pointer from the
right wing just six seconds in the possession. Had Podziemski let the
play develop, there would have been better options. Curry will always
garner the most attention, bringing two defenders with him at a time.
Thompson is always a threat and a floor spacer, while Gary Payton II and
Jackson-Davis are always lob threats. Shooting a 3 early in the shot
clock wasn’t necessary.

[video: Podz fade away attempt]

Late in the second quarter on Saturday night, he drove against a larger
defender in Jeremy Sochan. The Spurs’ defense was willing to concede
shots to Moody, Saric, and Green. Podziemski’s options were kicking it
out to Moody at the top of the key, or Saric in the corner. Instead, he
drove and attempted a fadeaway hook shot in the paint only to get it
blocked by Sochan.

In addition to Podziemski’s tendency to have tunnel vision in his floor
game at times, he also needs improvement on his layups and finishing. I
also wouldn’t mind to see him develop a solid mid-range jumper.

The solution: When it comes to seeing the floor, Podziemski has one of
the best point guards ever in that category in Chris Paul to learn from.
As much info as Podziemski is absorbing from Curry, he should do the
same in terms of seeing the floor with Paul.

sport / / BANG: Analysis: Warriors’ young players have flaws — but there are fixes


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