Warriors

Warriors

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

A few weeks ago, I chronicled how the depth of the Warriors has been put to the test as a few key members of the bench have been dealing with prolonged shooting slumps. However, despite the team's recent bout of overall inconsistent play, the bench has started to heat up. 

Let's examine the Dubs' key role players as well as their veteran rotation players who have gotten hot lately.

Kevon Looney

Kevon Looney had been Mr. Consistent for a majority of the season until he hit a skid in mid-February. During a nine-game stretch, he shot 42 percent and his typically reliable hands and rebounding prowess even faltered.

Because of his mini-slump, Looney's playing time took a hit, averaging only nine minutes per game over the final four games of the rough stretch. But after a hip contusion kept Looney out of the lineup for a couple of games, he returned to the lineup with tremendous results.

Over the last nine games, Looney is shooting an impressive 82 percent from the field while averaging 15 minutes of action. His legs seem refreshed, his hands are suddenly reliable again, and his explosiveness to the rim has been rejuvenated.

 

The Warriors' depth is at its best when Looney can hold down the frontcourt with his typically solid defense, and it is even better when he makes himself available as a scoring threat. 

Alfonzo McKinnie

Alfonzo McKinnie caught the NBA's attention with his torrid start to the season. But after dealing with some injuries, McKinnie had struggled to find any consistency with his shooting, forcing the coaching staff to look for other consistent options in the rotation.

Over a 34-game span stretching from mid-December all the way through early-March, McKinnie shot a porous 21 percent from deep, leading some to speculate that his roster spot could be in jeopardy. But all of that has changed over the last nine games, as McKinnie is shooting 52 percent overall from the field and 50 percent from deep (though admittedly a small sample size, as he's hit seven of his last 14 attempts).

In the last four games, Zo has had his presence felt on the court with a combined plus/minus of +29. Though his playing time has been sporadic over this stretch as the coaching staff searches for the right rotational strategy, McKinnie is helping his cause with his improved play of late.

Jonas Jerebko

Jonas Jerebko is starting to heat up and it is coming at the right time. Over the last four games, Jerebko is six for his last 11 three-point field goals and his playing time has increased to 15 minutes per game after being benched for three of four games prior to this stretch. This has been a welcome rebirth for Jerebko after he had gone 28 consecutive games played shooting only 26 percent from deep.

It is yet to be seen what kind of role Jonas will play in the playoffs, but he has a chance to instill some confidence in the coaching staff over the final nine games of the regular season. So far, he is off to a good start. 

Veteran Production

Some other veteran players that are shooting well recently include Draymond Green, who is eight for his last 16 from long range while shooting 51 percent overall over his last six games.

DeMarcus Cousins is also heating up, as he's averaging 19 points on 64 percent shooting in his last four games. He's also showing a more confident, yet selective, three-point stroke, making three of his last seven attempts.

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Shaun Livingston has also come on as of late, making 10 of his last 12 shots. 

The depth of the Warriors is starting to finally show, and if these key role players can find consistency, the Warriors will roll into the playoffs at their best.