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sport / alt.sports.basketball.nba.gs-warriors / BANG: Warriors’ overachieving rookie duo set for intense play-in test

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o BANG: Warriors’ overachieving rookie duo set for intense play-in testAllen

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BANG: Warriors’ overachieving rookie duo set for intense play-in test

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From: ala...@yahoo.com (Allen)
Newsgroups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.gs-warriors
Subject: BANG:_Warriors’_overachieving_rookie_duo_set_fo
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Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 15:20:24 -0700
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 by: Allen - Mon, 15 Apr 2024 22:20 UTC

Warriors’ overachieving rookie duo set for intense play-in test
Trayce Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski will face a newly atmosphere
in the NBA's play-in tournament
>Golden State Warriors’ Trayce Jackson-Davis (32) scores against San
Antonio Spurs’ Dominick Barlow (26) in the third quarter of an NBA game,
Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl
Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | demerman@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 15, 2024 at 5:40 a.m. | UPDATED: April 15, 2024 at 5:40
a.m.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2024/04/15/warriors-overachieving-rookie-duo-set-for-intense-play-in-test/

SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors, under Steve Kerr, have seen it all.

They’ve had home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, won an NBA
record 73 games, bottomed out in a lost 15-win season, lost in the
play-in round and made a championship run as the 3-seed.

Yet the situation they currently find themselves in is a new one. Never
have the Warriors entered the postseason as a 10-seed, facing the
prospect of two single-elimination games on the road to even earn a
playoff series. Even while finishing 10 games above .500, Golden State
is the lowest-seeded team in the Western Conference playoff bracket.

And since the legendary trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond
Green blossomed, Kerr has never relied so heavily on rookies.

Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis both figure to play at least
20 minutes in Sacramento as key cogs of the Warriors’ rotation. They’ve
earned it; Podziemski leads the team in plus-minus and Jackson-Davis’
vertical threat on both ends of the court has locked in the team’s most
cohesive starting lineup.

They went on ESPN last week to stake their claim as the best rookie duo
in the NBA this year, and they have a point. They’ll get a chance to
prove their worth in their first taste of playoff basketball. They’ll
have to face the brightened spotlight, the intensified games, the more
advanced game plans and scouting.

“I would just tell them, ‘You guys are ready,’” Andrew Wiggins said.
“‘You guys proved what you can do all season long, you guys fought like
hell all season long. You guys are ready.’ We expect them to do the same
things they’ve been doing.”

Steve Kerr and multiple players likened the play-in path the Warriors
are staring at to the NCAA Tournament. Like in March Madness, the
Warriors face a do-or-die game in Sacramento.

Podziemski never played in the NCAA Tournament. His Santa Clara team
only qualified for the NIT, and as a freshman at Illinois, he was buried
on the bench as the Illini made a mini-run. Around this time last year,
Podziemski was watching on television as Steph Curry buried the Kings
with his 50-point Game 7.

Podziemski hasn’t played a real playoff game since he was in high school
in the Milwaukee area. He doesn’t look at it that way, though.

“It’s magnified more because it’s a win-or-go-home game, but at the end
of the day, it’s basketball just like every other game,” Podziemski said.

>Golden State Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski (2) shoots while
Washington Wizards forward Marvin Bagley III (35) defends during the
first half of an NBA basketball game in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 27,
2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

At Indiana, Jackson-Davis played four NCAA Tournament games in his
four-year career. Two of those came last year, and he handled them just
fine — the center blocked five shots in each while scoring 24 and 23 points.

Jackson-Davis in particular projects to be crucial in slowing down Kings
center Domantas Sabonis. The Kings and Warriors split their four-game
regular season series, but Jackson-Davis didn’t play real minutes in any
of them.

The frontcourt pairing of Draymond Green and Jackson-Davis will be a new
wrinkle to throw at Sacramento. Their 99.2 defensive rating as a duo
ranks 18th among all two-man combinations who have played at least 200
minutes together.

“Trayce has great length, he’s very athletic, and affects a lot of shots
on the rim,” Green said. “Sabonis does all his damage pretty much within
10-15 feet… When it comes to his scoring, a lot of it is around the rim
and Trayce can affect some of those shots. But it starts with
positioning, and Sabonis is great at creating angles, got to make sure
you’re good with your positioning against a guy like that.”

Green will likely draw the individual matchup against Sabonis, but
Jackson-Davis will have to be active as a help defender along the
baseline. In last year’s Kings series, Kevon Looney dominated with three
games of at least 20 rebounds, so he could also play a bigger factor
than he has for much of this regular season.

Then there’s De’Aaron Fox, whom the Warriors consider the head of
Sacramento’s snake. If Gary Payton II remains sidelined with his calf
strain, Podziemski could find himself trying to stay in front of Fox at
times.

>RELATED ARTICLES
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Kurtenbach: The Warriors are a strange mix. That could bring big
things — or disaster — this postseason
Photos: Fans can’t believe how tall Steph Curry’s eldest daughter,
Riley, has grown
Clifford Ray’s long arms: How a Warrior saved a dolphin
Kurtenbach: The Warriors messed around and found out this season. It
might just work out for the best

“You’ve got to show so many bodies at him in transition. When he’s
making 3s, it’s kind of hard to guard. I think in our first game we
played in October there, he and Steph kind of went back-and-forth
shooting 3s. Just watching that, it’s like how do you stop a guy like
that? Because he’s so explosive to the rim and can shoot.”

The Warriors have outscored opponents by 264 points with Podziemski on
the floor; he ranks 46th in the NBA in total plus-minus.

In past successful playoff runs, the Warriors have had mid-career
players or veterans play heavy minutes around their star core. Guys like
Payton, Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, Sean Livingston, and
Festus Ezeli have filled in gaps on the margins.

Now, that burden will fall on Podziemski, Jackson-Davis and Jonathan
Kuminga — who also has limited playoff experience.

“Our roles are pretty defined at this point,” Podziemski said of himself
and Jackson-Davis. “We know what’s being asked of us, what we’re
supposed to do when we’re out there, no matter the lineup, who’s where,
who’s with us. So I think for me and him, it kind of gives us a comfort
knowing what our role is, knowing what kind of minutes we’re going to
get, all those types of things.”


sport / alt.sports.basketball.nba.gs-warriors / BANG: Warriors’ overachieving rookie duo set for intense play-in test

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