There's a reason why we do not play video games in beginner mode: winning a manipulated game can be boring. This is a problem for the Golden State Warriors, who have won three of the last four NBA championships. The Warriors, perhaps the greatest accumulation of talent in NBA history, need ways to make the game entertaining, and sometimes it means increasing the difficulty of their task. Draymond Green has taken this to heart and added hurdles to the track with fun twists, such as calling his teammate, who has won two Finals MVP trophies, a "bitch" or waiting for three-quarters of the season to pass are to get in shape.
The shock is partly due to the need for injuries to Kevin Durant (five missed games), DeMarcus Cousins (14) and Andre Iguodala (one) forced Golden State to plunge into its reserves. With Durant and Cousins, Kevon Looney takes fourth place among the healthy warriors in regular time. Kevon Looney! For the past three years he has been the Yung Jud Büchler of the Warriors. Now he is good.
But Kerr did not fill his grid by using only his next-best players. No, in this postseason he started the players who finished ninth, tenth, eleven, twelve, thirteen and sixteen in the Warriors' total minutes this season. Part of the explanation for starting Randos seems to be that Kerr wants to keep his units consistent. Looney, for example, has not started a game yet because Kerr likes the energy he gets from the bank. In Game 6 of the first round against the Clippers, Kerr decided to start Shaun Livingston, who had not started a game all year long to ensure that Iguodala was fresh in the ring, the two-time sixth man of the year, Lou Williams , to protect.
I like to think that Kerr fidgets too to make things more interesting. He plays a game and tries to find the least relevant player he can start, and still win a critical playoff game. The injuries require digging into the bank; You do not have to start side by side Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie in the final of the Western Conference. (He did that, you won.) Let's take a look at some of the players the Warriors started this off-season, and what it means, how serious Golden State takes games:
6.3 Fucks Given: Alfonzo McKinnie  McKinnie was actually a surprisingly good roleplayer for the Warriors this season, appearing in 72 games and proving to be a capable defender and aggressive rebounder. From the point of view of basketball, it is not too ridiculous that he started the fourth game against the Trail Blazer – or that it paid off, as McKinnie had 12 points and secured two critical offensive rebounds in extra time.
But we should note McKinnie's way to participate in the Warriors rotation. After graduating from Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2015, no NBA teams were interested in McKinnie, so he accepted an offer to play for a semi-pro team in Luxembourg's second division. To clarify: Not the best league in Luxembourg, a country with 600,000 players, which has produced only one NBA player and whose national basketball team has been playing in EuroBasket 1-53 qualifiers since 2005. In the second division, it was not even a good league team in Luxembourg – the East Side Pirates (which sounds like a generic video game team that has not secured NBPA rights) finished the tournament 2–2, reaching it the last place. You can watch a video of him as he dominates in gyms with handball lines on the court and for some reason on green ground.
McKinnie's rise to the NBA is truly incredible. Last season, he moved from Luxembourg to the second division in Mexico, the G League, for a two-way contract with the Raptors. (This is not some NBA final, it's an Alfonzo McKinnie-Patrick McCaw Revenge series.) It's perhaps the best story of the Warriors season. And while I get the basketball explanation, I like to think that the Warriors are playing against McKinnie to prove that they can be the best team in the world while playing against a man from the worst team in the second division in Luxembourg.
2.8 F & # 39; s Given: Andrew Bogut
It feels odd to include Bogut here – while McKinnie played in the Luxembourg minor leagues, Bogut started for the Warriors in another NBA final. He is a former 1 overall selection, who was once appointed to the third All-NBA team. He was famous earlier!
But after the Warriors traded in Bogut in 2016 to make room, his career stalled. He scored an average of 3.0 points per game for the Mavericks, who exchanged him for the Sixers and cut him. He then signed with the Cavs (mainly to provide information to Warriors) but broke his leg in the first minute with Cleveland. He sparingly played with the tanking Lakers last season and then signed with the NBL of Sydney Kings of Australia.
The NBL is not the second league in Luxembourg – Torrey Craig, who has become a legitimate rotation player for the Nuggets. had spent most of his professional career in the NBL before moving to the NBA in 2017; Five-star recruit R.J. Hampton has just announced that he will skip college to play in the NBL next season. But if the NBA teams could improve their mid-season squads by signing players from the Australian leagues, we'll see it sometimes. There is no precedent for a player in the NBL to appear in playoff games in April, but that's exactly what the Warriors did with Bogut.
Kerr has put Bogut on the grid at least once in every playoff series so far, and it's not really clear why. After making decent contributions to the Clippers, Bogut scored a total of two points in his three starts against the Rockets and Trail Blazers and played a total of 23 minutes before Kerr hit him for players who were actually in the NBA all season. I suspect Bogut will not see any more launches, especially with the imminent return of DeMarcus's cousins following an injury. If we see Bogut, it's an attempt by Golden State to prove he can win the championship when one of his starters literally does not belong in the NBA anymore.
0.3 F & # 39; s Given: Damian Jones
For any random players who have been given opportunities in the playoffs, nothing speaks against Golden State's decision to launch Jones in Game 3 against Portland. To be fair, Jones was a regular starter for the Warriors in October and November, opening 22 of the team's first 24 games. The draft pick of the first round of 2016 did not matter much, but he was a talented finisher who scored 71.6 percent. If he had held out all season, that would have led the league.
But Jones tore his chest muscle in December and had to undergo surgery, which lasted until May. Jones was medically relieved before the Western Conference final, and Kerr patiently restored him to low-debt situations. He got one minute and 42 seconds of play time in garbage game 1 and scored three points. He had a minute and 30 seconds in the third quarter of Game 2 and took a rebound before returning to the bench.
And then, BAM! With a lead of nearly three minutes, Jones was on the starting grid for Game 3. Some players demand immediate reintegration into the lineup when they return after an injury. Damian Jones is probably not one of them. Jones instantly picked up three personal fouls (including one with a 3-pointer) in just three minutes and hit the bench with a 9-5 deficit from Golden State. He played neither the rest of the game nor the end of Game 4.
Kerr made the decision to lead his opponents in one of the most important games of the year by starting a man, I've played long enough since December to work up a sweat. The Warriors still won until 11. Hopefully the NBA Finals will be a success as the Raptors seem to be a great team and the Warriors do not have the full strength. If not, Kerr must end the boredom of a fourth NBA championship by starting Jones and others like him.