The Warriors took a chance in July. They gambled, hoping to fix a weakness that was clearly apparent even as they were racing to a championship last season.
Maybe they did. But nine games into this season there is no such evidence.
The Warriors still lack 3-point shooting off the bench, an issue they figured would be remedied with the offseason signings of veteran guard Nick Young and veteran forward Omri Casspi.
The Warriors rank 29th -- next to last -- in 3-point makes off the bench this season, which is precisely where they finished last season.
They averaged 2.1 3-point makes per game last season; they’re at 2.2 so far this season. Only the Knicks’ bench, at 2.1, is making fewer.
Young delighted the coaching staff and the Oracle Arena crowd on opening night, making 6-of-7 treys while playing 26 minute. In eight subsequent games he has played 66 minutes and made a total of six.
Young was hired a 3-point specialist -- he shoots more 3-pointers than two pointers -- yet he already has fallen behind second-year guard Pat McCaw as a backup wing.
“Right now, I’m going to be going to Patty,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thursday night after a win at San Antonio. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t change. He’s clearly played well and earned it. He’s got a year in our system. He understands it. He does a lot of good stuff for us. He’s earned minutes and he’ll keep playing.
“But Nick’s going to play, too. It’s just a matter of time. He’s got to stay with it.”
Casspi has been limited to six games while battling ankle sprains and has made one triple in 40 total minutes.
Neither vet can expect much more playing time in the immediate future. In addition to Young losing his battle with McCaw, minutes that might go to Casspi are being absorbed Andre Iguodala and Jordan Bell.
“Patrick has really stepped up his game and become an important piece for us,” Kerr said. “And Jordan, we’re just going to keep trying to get him out there as often as we can in key situations, to get him used to it.”
Iguodala, whose 3-point shot is streaky, has made two so far. McCaw has made three, with two coming Thursday night in the win at San Antonio.
Young concedes he is finding it difficult to make the adjustment from a starter playing 26 minutes a game with the Lakers last season to a reserve simply hoping to break a sweat.
“It’s harder than I thought, just trying to figure out when I’ll be getting in,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “I’m starting to get used to some of the thing, getting used to the guys a little bit. But I’m still working on the best way to come off the bench.”
There is plenty of time for improvement, and it likely will come. But the early results are not at all what the Warriors were looking for with their offseason shopping.