The Golden State Warriors sit atop the league standings at 20-4, together with the Phoenix Suns, two years removed from having the worst record in the NBA at 15-50 and one year from a very mediocre 39-33. Their excellent start to the season has been even more impressive as they have done it without Klay Thompson, who is expected to be back during the next month and questions about this hot start produced the following quote from coach Kerr.
Fascinating quote here from Steve Kerr: “If you can’t maintain your culture during the down times, then you don’t really have a culture. It’s just dependent on winning. The culture has to survive losing stretches.”
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 5, 2021
Kerr has been coaching the Warriors since 2014 and has won three NBA championships with them, as well as five NBA championships as a player, so his words carry a lot of weight, especially since he has been in a lot of losing and winning situations throughout his career. I don’t know if the Warriors have the depth to go all the way this year but the culture they have established over the last decade can not be doubted and has elevated their players’ game to new heights. Because frankly Draymond Green may have never got a chance to be such a game-changer on another team and Stephen Curry would always be a great player, but maybe he wouldn’t have turned out to be THE Stephen Curry.
Regarding last week’s suggestions both Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley gained significant playing time with Kemba Walker out of the rotation, as was the case with De’Anthony Melton and Tyus Jones sans Ja Morant. All four of them remain strong holds in my opinion and hopefully, you grabbed your chance to have them in your team. Garrison Mathews also had a productive week and is a must-play as long as Kevin Porter Jr is out. On the “Sell” front, Terry Rozier unfortunately was sidelined due to protocols, so the sell-high window was postponed for his return and Jalen Suggs remains injured and remains unworthy of a roster spot.
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Anfernee Simons: Simons was already starting for Damian Lillard and was a great source of points and triples before missing the last two games with a right ankle injury. He is listed questionable for Wednesday’s game but what makes his outlook even more appealing is the fact that C.J. McCollum has been diagnosed with pneumothorax. No, this is not a next-generation pokemon or my latest password for my bank account, this is the medical term for a collapsed lung that should keep him sidelined for 2-4 weeks. On a side note, one of the perks of being Greek is understanding those medical terms that look like someone accidentally slept on their keyboard and produces these monstrosities.
Back to fantasy, I think Simons continues to start over Dennis Smith Jr. (who is also a decent stream in the short term), when Lillard returns and provides points from the wire, a rare find from free agents, so he is worth an add for that period (20% owned).
Doug McDermott: You know what you get when you add McDermott to your fantasy team. Some points, a lot of triples, and great, albeit low volume, percentages. He has returned in great shape from his four-game absence so he is worth a stream if the above categories are appealing to you (26% owned).
Killian Hayes: Another player to consider if you target specific categories this week is Killian Hayes, with the categories being assists, steals, and ft%. He is as low-scoring as they come for a starting point guard but his real-life defense provides solid playing time and he has four games in the next eight days so give him a look for that last roster spot (14% owned).
Kelly Oubre: He is playing completely out of his mind right now and has moved from well outside the top150 to 112th in per-game value for the season. It has happened without Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball, though, and the 52.8% field goal percentage and usage rate of 25.1 are unsustainable. He is a prime sell high candidate before Charlotte gets back to full strength.
Andre Drummond: I have no clue why Andre Drummond is still owned in so many leagues, especially after Joel Embiid’s return to action. He was underwhelming at best without Embiid but he is now averaging 14 minutes and continues to greatly hurt your ft%, while only providing rebounding and some blocks. I am certain you can get those stats, even to a lesser degree from the wire, or even better stream his spot. I am not sure he is tradeable in competitive leagues but do give it a try, although flat out dropping his as soon as possible seems like the way to go (75% owned).