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Chris Paul’s Endorsement Sparks Debate Over Steve Kerr’s Coaching Decisions for Warriors’ Rising Star

Published 04/01/2024, 10:46 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Golden State Warriors brought their A-game against the San Antonio Spurs yesterday. With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Dubs pulled off a narrow victory against Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs by a scoreline of 117-113. The Warriors rallied behind Stephen Curry’s 33-point performance after trailing by 8 points at halftime. Their late-season turnaround has firmly placed them in contention to secure a spot in the play-in tournament.

However, longtime HC Steve Kerr has come under intense scrutiny for the Warriors’ subpar showings this season. His decision-making regarding the playing time of rising star Moses Moody has been a subject of scrutiny by many. Despite getting Chris Paul’s vote of confidence, Kerr remains hesitant to give Moody valuable playing time. In a post-match interview, CP3 lauded Moody’s professionalism and “stay ready” mentality. He said, “Moses is just a pro… He just stays ready. You have to appreciate somebody like Mo because a lot of guys would be pouting. ‘Man, I ain’t ready. I played this morning.’”

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Moses Moody’s lack of playing time is baffling, given his professionalism and recent performances. In a recent win against the Hornets, Moody scored 15 points and grabbed 4 boards in just 25 minutes of playing time. Although Steve Kerr hasn’t given Moody much game time, he, too agrees with CP3’s assessment of Moody. During an interview, Kerr stated that Moody is wise beyond his years. He said, “When he doesn’t play and he falls out of the rotation, he stays positive, he keeps working. He’s a total pro, and it’s only Year 3. So it’s very impressive.”

Under Steve Kerr, Moody has 8.1 points and 3 rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time. However, in recent games, Moses Moody has witnessed an increase in playing time, averaging 24 minutes per game in the Dubs’ last three matchups. Kerr has increasingly relied upon youngsters like Jonathan Kuminga and Podziemski in recent months, and it’s only a matter of time before Moody receives similar opportunities.

Youngsters come to Steve Kerr and the Warriors’ rescue

Even the most die-hard Warriors fans would admit that their beloved team has underperformed this season. Few would have expected the Dubs to languish in the 10th spot of Western Conference standings, with less than 10 games remaining. The decline in their performances this season can be attributed directly to the drop in form experienced by key players such as Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins.

DrayMagic can’t help but keep getting ejected, falling prey to his emotions on the court, Thompson is just not cutting it. He is not performing well, going through a tough phase, and was sent to the bench for the first time since 2012. In 69 games, Thompson’s average turns out to be 17.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, while shooting 42.6% from the field.

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And as for Wiggins, well, his recent absence from the games due to personal reasons has put a stopper on the rhythm that he built in the past couple of months. In the last 10 games, he is performing well, averaging 15.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 47.5 % shooting, and 40.5% 3-pointer shooting. He is versatile, defensively speaking, and can guard the PGs well. Of course, he played tremendously well on Wednesday. At least he is going through a better season than what it was when he started it. He understands he can produce more points on some nights, and then for a couple of games, he might underperform. Consistency is lacking here.

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Thankfully, Stephen Curry’s All-NBA caliber form, coupled with the emergence of youngsters like Kuminga, Podziemski, and Trayce Jackson-Davis, has helped the Dubs remain in contention for a playoff berth. Few expected Podziemski and TJD to have such an impact in their rookie season, but Steve Kerr has heavily depended on them.

USA Today via Reuters

Even though their process of progression isn’t as smooth and linear as one would have expected, they are bringing in a touch of magic to help the Dubs swim through this season so far. In however many fluctuating minutes they are playing for, they are somehow able to support the aging trio of Curry, Green, and Thompson well.

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With the postseason right around the corner, the maturity of their young core would be seriously tested. Will they be able to handle the pressure of the playoffs? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Dushyant Singh

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Dushyant Singh is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Ever since the Lakers’ Orlando Bubble victory, he has maintained a vigilant eye on the NBA with his research-heavy perspective, along with a specialization in covering predictive lineups. He keenly observes the evolving narratives that unfold each season.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja