OAKLAND – Though the Warriors are considering reinserting Quinn Cook as the starting point guard in Stephen Curry’s absence, don’t look for it to happen Wednesday night.
That’s when the Warriors face the Oklahoma City Thunder and, to be specific, the dynamo that is Russell Westbrook.
The likeliest defensive matchup for Westbrook is shooting guard Klay Thompson, who generally gets that assignment. Expect Andre Iguodala to make his fourth consecutive start at point guard. He’ll likely match up with guards Hamidou Diallo or Dennis Schroder.
With Thompson and Kevin Durant struggling to score, it’s becoming apparent the Warriors would benefit if Iguodala can deliver more than the 5.7 points he averaged since supplanting Cook last week in Houston.
Iguodala seems to sense the need.
“I’ve been feeling really good, actually,” Iguodala said after practice Tuesday. “Even my shot is feeling good. Even my misses have felt really good. I’m just in a good place right now. I’ve got to be a little bit more aggressive offensively in finding that good balance in playing with the starting unit.”
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While players and coaches alike realize Cook has been the team’s most reliable scoring option since Curry went down, the Warriors don’t want to throw Cook to the tiger that is Westbrook.
Cook started at point guard in the first three games without Curry, but came off the bench in the last three.
In the three games he started, Cook averaged 17.3 points on 53.7-percent shooting, including 40 percent from beyond the arc, in 28.7 minutes per game.
Coming off the bench the last three games, Cook averaged 14.0 points on 56.6-percent shooting, including 53.8 percent from deep, and 25 minutes.
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With the Portland Trail Blazers' fabulous backcourt duo of Damian Lilliard and CJ McCollum coming up after Westbrook, Cook likely will come off the bench in that game, too.
With Curry out, the Warriors are struggling to keep three deep shooters on the floor. Either Durant or Thompson must always be on the floor. That leaves Jonas Jerebko, two-way wing Damion Lee and Cook as the other options.
So Cook, no matter how well he is shooting, can expect to lead the second unit – at least until the Warriors face a backcourt that doesn’t offer such an imposing matchup.