The NBA has signed its first non-American player in three decades, but the process has been less than smooth. The Knicks’ Enes Kanter was drafted by Utah Jazz after he entered free agency this summer. However, the league banned him for two years due to an international incident that happened when he was 15 years old and playing for Turkey’s national team – which included his older brother Yener under coach Ergin Ataman
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The Golden State Warriors are looking more and more like a serious title contender with each passing game. With an 11-2 record entering the week, the Dubs are the greatest team in the NBA and have the numbers to back up their amazing record. And things might get much better as Klay Thompson is closer to returning to play.
While it’s easy to believe Thompson will only help an already-strengthened Warriors squad, Charles Barkley is putting the brakes on the deal. Chuck addressed how Klay’s comeback forced the league-leading Warriors to contemplate one possible disadvantage ahead of Golden State’s primetime clash on TNT versus former Warrior Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.
The Golden State Warriors have gotten off to a fantastic start.
No one expected the Warriors, who were 73-9 at the time, to come back and dominate the NBA. People also didn’t anticipate the dreadful 15-50 Warriors of 2019-20 to make an appearance. Golden State’s expectations were probably in the center; a good-to-great club capable of making noise in the playoffs.
The 2021-22 Warriors, it turns out, are startlingly close to the 2015-16 Warriors’ 73-win team. Golden State has won 11 games by an average of 16.3 points, and has only lost two games by three and four points. In addition, the Dubs have the second best offensive rating and the best defensive rating in the league. Only the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are in the top ten in each category, although Golden State is close to leading them both.
Stephen Curry is undoubtedly responsible for a large portion of Golden State’s success. With 28.1 points on 44.2 percent shooting, the two-time MVP is in the race for his third. It’s not just the Steph show, however. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole lead the team with 18.0 and 17.2 points per game, respectively, with Damion Lee chipping in with 11.1 points. Wiggins and Lee each have greater shooting percentages than Curry, but Poole leads them all with a 58.1 percent two-point percentage.
With Klay Thompson’s return, Charles Barkley expresses his worries.
When Klay Thompson (R) returns, Charles Barkley (L) cautions the Golden State Warriors about a possible issue. | American Express/Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images | Michael Urakami/Getty Images
Poole and Wiggins have clearly benefited the most from Thompson’s decision to sit out the first half of the season. Along with Curry, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney, the two shooters have started all 13 games. They’re taking advantage of the situation, averaging over 14 shots each night and approximately 30 minutes of play every night.
Before the Warriors’ clash against the Nets, Barkley spoke about how Thompson’s comeback would surely effect the rest of the squad, notably Wiggins and Poole.
During NBA Tip-Off on TNT, Barkley observed, “It’s going to be an adjustment time to try to figure it out.” “Right now, all of those players you mentioned are receiving their seven additional shots every game. When Klay returns, those stats will drop because Klay will be the one taking those shots…. And that’s a big change for a club to make. I’m not saying it’s better or worse; I’m simply saying there’s been a significant shift.”
“I’m looking forward to watching the changes that everyone on the team is going to have to make when Klay gets back,” Barkley later said. “I mean, it’ll take some getting used to. You can’t simply put a man out there and expect everything to go well.”
When Klay returns, what will be his role?
Barkley has a fair point. Wiggins and Poole are excelling, making it tough for head coach Steve Kerr to break up a starting group that is 11-2 thus far this season. What impact would Klay’s comeback have on Golden State’s balance, at least in the short term? It’s possible that he’ll have to modify more than originally thought.
Klay Thompson, at 31 years old, is no spring bird in the NBA. His last game was in the NBA Finals in June of this year. And now he’s dealing with the aftermath of two significant leg injuries. With all of the time off and the development of multiple younger players, Thompson waltzing back into the starting lineup and taking 18 shots in 34 minutes per night would be shocking.
Poole and Wiggins will have even more time to develop their positions in the offense now that Thompson is still a few weeks away. When Klay does return, the Warriors will have to determine how soon they want to reintegrate him into the fold.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
Klay Thompson Issues a Warning Shot on behalf of the Warriors in First Place: ‘I Hope People Keep Doubting Us’
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