The Golden State Warriors are far from being the dominant team they were 5 years ago but they’ve been way better than most people thought. Draymond Green and Stephen Curry are back to their former level, and Andrew Wiggins has made great strides as a defender.
Obviously, Klay Thompson is not the kind of player that you can easily replace. Then again, the Warriors believe that Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr could do a great job of holding down the fort while he comes back from his injury.
Oubre, however, has been far from spectacular when it comes to the offense. He’s averaging just 12.0 points on 36.6% shooting and 20.3% from deep, which has clearly hurt the Warriors more often than not.
That’s why, after seeing him play more aggressively and knock down a couple of threes during the Warriors’ comeback win to the Lakers, Paul Pierce thinks that he’s the Dubs’ X-Factor and the guy that could help them go the distance:
“I really believe that the key to this team is (Kelly) Oubre. Because you know what Steph (Curry) is gonna give you. (Andrew) Wiggins, you know, he’s somewhat starting to be more consistent but Oubre, he can give them consistent numbers between 15 and 18 a night. This team is going to be dangerous, you know, he can do all the little things. He can guard your team’s best player. He’s a slasher. But if he starts knocking down some threes consistently, then that’s what’s going to make the Warriors scary. He has to go back and look at this game and they have to tell him: ‘Oubre, if you become a consistent player for us, we’re gonna win a lot more games,” Pierce said on ESPN’s The Jump.
Oubre has never been much of a threat from beyond the arc. He’s a career 32.2% shooter from three-point range, but that doesn’t mean that Pierce is wrong.
You know that Stephen Curry can go up for 30 points any given night. You know Andrew Wiggins is an athletic freak, so it’s time for Oubre to step up, work on his shot, and start punishing opposing defenses for leaving him wide open.