Former NBA champion blames IQ differences between Golden State Warriors veterans and youngsters responsible for their early-season struggles

Last season, the Golden State Warriors led 18-2 in their first 20 games and had a 7-1 difference along the way. They are starting 10-10 when they open their bid to maintain the title this season, undervalued by a dismal 1-9 score against Chase Center.

Richard Jefferson, on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast,” had an interesting analysis of why the Warriors had a surprisingly below-average start:

“Draymond [Green] spent four years with Izzo, Steph [Curry] it’s been three years, Klay [Thompson] had three years, Andre Iguodala had two years with Lute Olson. Their core group was older when they entered the league, they had a higher basketball IQ when they entered the league

“You’re expecting Kuminga and Wiseman, who only need one hand to play in this read and react system. … Warriors need some more adults.”

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The Golden State Warriors’ championship team lost Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson and Nemanja Bjelica this season. They are veterans who have honed their skills and most importantly their basketball IQs, to work smoothly around Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Losing them doesn’t seem to be a big deal as the Warriors have James Wiseman, Moses Moody, and Jonathan Kuminga. However, their expected growth came too short, which is a big part of the reason the Warriors struggled.

Head coach Steve Kerr is keen to develop his young players without suffering too many setbacks. That didn’t happen because the Golden State Warriors were blown away when their bench crowd showed up. They asked Steph Curry to come up with crazy numbers to rescue them over and over again when their youth struggled.

“This is not a demotion. This is not a punishment.” ESPN’s story on the Warriors’ decision to send James Wiseman to the G League at length:…

After losing to the Sacramento Kings on November 13, Kerr told the media he would have to make some changes to his combinations. He also said that he could squeeze the rotation a bit more. A few days later, James Wiseman was sent to the G-League.

Kuminga and Moody remained, but both had short stints on the pitch.


Richard Jefferson added that he does not question the talents and skills of the Warriors’ young reserves, but he is uncertain about their development. More importantly, their development may not be on the same timeline as the Golden State Warriors core of Curry, Thompson, and Green.

The once-praised defense of the Golden State Warriors is lacking in communication and trust

The Golden State Warriors' defense was not up to its usual standards.
The Golden State Warriors’ defense was not in the usual form.

The same wavelength is not only required at the attack end. Blue DraymondGolden State Warriors defensive pillar, complained about his team lack of communication and trust in the defence.

It takes repetition in the game and a basketball IQ to maintain the Warriors’ defensive standards. Mood, Kuminga and especially Wiseman did not do well when Kerr trusted them to play.

In the end, it was not the young men’s fault, that they had trouble catching up with Kerr’s defensive philosophy. Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson also made the same mistake, but both can do so much in attack that Kerr can pass them.


After Kerr made significant changes to his roster, the Golden State Warriors are starting to make a splash. Since the loss to Kings, when their record dropped to 5-8, they are now 5-2 in the last seven games.

Steph curry are having an all-time great year and the Warriors may not want to waste that by waiting for their young players to develop. There have been commercial rumors that could give the Bay Area team more veteran help.

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