The sixth-seed Golden State Warriors faced off against the third-seeded Sacramento Kings in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs and are now down 0-2. Still, despite that and being in the three-six series, which is generally lopsided in favor of the higher seed, the Kings were actually underdogs entering the series.
This is despite having the greatest offense in NBA history and overachieving after missing the playoffs for 16 straight seasons. After all, the Kings are going up against the defending champion Warriors, who despite being wildly inconsistent this season, are capable of beating any team. That being said, who will start Game 3 for Golden State?
Projected Warriors starting lineup vs Warriors Game 3:
- Steph Curry
- Klay Thompson
- Andrew Wiggins
- Jonathan Kuminga
- Kevon Looney
The Warriors’ rotation was finally at full strength upon entering the series before Draymond Green got himself suspended for Game 3. That now forces the Golden State Warriors to reorder their starting lineup to adjust.
They have several options, but their two primary ones involve either going small or adding Jordan Poole to the starting lineup, or staying relatively big and adding Jonathan Kuminga. Kuminga is the defensive option whereas Poole is the offensive option. Based on how the first two games have gone, they may choose to go with Kuminga.
No matter who they start, Curry will obviously be key to the Warriors’ offensive attack, and while he’ll be facing off against another all-star, Curry should have the advantage. However, perhaps the biggest matchup is how Looney will fare against the Kings’ other All-Star.
Projected Kings starting lineup vs Warriors Game 3:
- De’Aaron Fox
- Kevin Huerter
- Harrison Barnes
- Keegan Murray
- Domantas Sabonis
Sabonis, who is questionable after being stomped on by Green, has put up monster numbers this season and is likely Sacramento’s best player and best chance to attack the Warriors. Looney will continue to guard him and is well known for his defensive ability, whether it be warding off drives or defending the paint. If he can keep Sabonis in check, Golden State’s chances of coming back and upsetting the Kings go way up.
Overall, the Warriors are forced to adjust their starting lineup after Green’s suspension. That further complicates things since they are down 0-2 for the first time in the Steve Kerr era.