The Golden State Warriors continue to experiment with their second unit 19 games into the season with hopes that eventually the non-Stephen Curry minutes can play out a little smoother.
Head coach Steve Kerr’s latest adjustment came in a 127-120 win over the Rockets in Houston on Sunday, where he chose to insert Draymond Green into the group. And there might be a lot more of it as the season continues.
“Yeah, we’ll try that again tonight,” Kerr said ahead of the Warriors’ Wednesday night game against the Los Angeles Clippers. “Just try to give that second unit another ball handler and a little more organization. We’ll see. They held together pretty well in the second half of that Houston game. We’ll shift to that rotation tonight.”
The Warriors’ second unit has struggled to maintain leads all season, and that was once again the story in the opening minutes of the second quarter against Houston. Golden State began the quarter with a 12-point lead only to have Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Anthony Lamb, Jonathan Kuminga and Kevon Looney allow a 13-0 run over the first three minutes. Golden State wound up being outscored 37-21.
Golden State was up three points to start the fourth quarter and Kerr began the period with a lineup of Poole, DiVincenzo, Moses Moody, JaMychal Green and Draymond Green. When Andrew Wiggins subbed in for Draymond Green with 7:51 left, the Warriors still led by three.
Along with the luxury of an additional ball handler and veteran presence, having Draymond Green play with the second unit in stints could potentially help the team set a better tone defensively to begin quarters with Curry off the floor.
Houston shot 60% from the field in the second quarter without Draymond Green on the court compared to 34.6% in the fourth when he did.
How Curry's 3-point shooting changed the game
Stephen Curry has not only led a Warriors resurgence since entering the league, he has changed the game with his long-distance shooting.
Looney’s just fine: Looney was the only Warriors starter to play in Monday’s lopsided loss to New Orleans despite being listed as questionable entering the night because of a left hand contusion. He wound up playing five minutes in the first quarter and didn’t return, which raised some concern.
Looney told reporters Wednesday that his body feels “really good” and although he wanted to play more minutes against the Pelicans, the coaches made the decision not to play him further. He also revealed that the contusion was suffered on a hard fall following a dunk attempt against Houston. His streak of consecutive regular-season games played extended to 130 Wednesday against the Clippers.
“Anytime I feel good and I feel like I’m capable of playing I’m always going to go out there,” he said. “I feel like I was good last game so I (played). If a game comes up and I don’t play, that means I’m really not feeling good.”
C.J. Holmes covers the Warriors for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @CjHolmes22Read On "San Francisco Chronicle"
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