Kawakami Mailbag, Part 1: All Warriors and all the panic about their lack of size

Angry fans of Bay Area sports teams gather around the forum, venting their frustrations as November approaches. With the 49ers on a disappointing losing streak, the Giants coming off uneventful seasons, and the Sharks struggling to win games, the A’s fans are absolutely furious. However, amidst the discontent, Warriors fans are also expressing their frustration, despite the team’s commendable 6-2 record and strong performance this season. A myriad of questions about the team’s strategies and roster has led to a concentrated whirlpool of concerns and queries, ultimately making it to my November Mailbag.

Nevertheless, I’ve noticed a recurrent wave of dissatisfaction with the Warriors’ pivot to a small lineup, especially against larger teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many fans are adamant about the need for a 7-foot player, but I’m left scratching my head. The Warriors’ championship-winning era utilized small, agile lineups with Stephen Curry at the helm, so why the clamor for a slower, bulkier approach? It seems that fans are fixated on acquiring a large center at any cost, overlooking the successful strategies that propelled the team to victory in previous seasons.

A case in point is the recent 2022 finals, where the Warriors prevailed over the Celtics by opting for a smaller lineup that outmaneuvered their opponents. They also bested the Nuggets, even with Nikola Jokić in the mix, demonstrating the effectiveness of their smaller, agile approach. From my perspective, the Warriors have thrived by capitalizing on their speed and skill, surpassing their opponents’ size with sheer finesse. The notion of recruiting a towering center like Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins seems counterintuitive and will likely impede the team’s agility and momentum. The Warriors’ success has been underpinned by their small, nimble lineup, and it’s essential to maintain this winning formula for the current season.

Another query delves into the Warriors’ inside scoring and defensive concerns, urging for the acquisition of an affordable center. It is evident that contending for a high-caliber big man, capable of complementing Curry’s prowess, is a daunting task. While a dominant center may alleviate some of the team’s struggles, the narrative of hunting down such a player is oversimplified, given the scarce availability of such talents. Even the colossal Lakers faced challenges against Jokić, underscoring the complexities of the situation. Recruiting a powerhouse like Rudy Gobert would be exorbitant and impractical, as it would disrupt the fluidity and efficiency of the team’s offense. It’s crucial to steer clear of conventional solutions and instead embrace the uniqueness of the Warriors’ approach.

Essentially, the Warriors hold a distinct advantage that sets them apart from other teams—the presence of Stephen Curry. With his unparalleled skills and game-changing abilities, the Warriors have achieved their greatest triumphs with Curry leading the charge. Nurturing a lineup that complements Curry’s playing style, thrives on versatility, and maximizes the team’s offensive potential is the key to enduring success. The fundamental foundation of the Warriors’ success hinges on unorthodox strategies that embrace mobility, adaptability, and dynamic play, which should eclipse the temptation of conforming to a traditional big-man narrative. With this resolute mindset, the Warriors can surmount obstacles and triumph as they have done in the past.


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