Against even normal 60-win teams, those blemishes wouldn’t matter. Anthony would have a safe resting place on defense. The Thunder would find ways to make Roberson less useless on offense so that he can lock down on the other end.
But when Golden State goes small, with Draymond Green at center, who is Melo guarding? Hell, who is he guarding when the starters face off, and Steven Adams wrestles Zaza Pachulia? Love is already familiar with this dilemma, and handled it better than he has been given credit for in last season’s NBA Finals. Starting him at center over Tristan Thompson gives him an easier hiding spot — Pachulia — until the Warriors downsize.
Twenty-three years old with a money stroke from beyond the arc and two-way potential as an elite 3-and-D shooting guard. That same description could have been written in October 2013 about Klay Thompson or October 2017 about Gary Harris.
Were it not for his fellow Splash Brother, Thompson would likely be viewed as the best shooter in the world. He’s also coming off an NBA Finals in which he spent more time guarding Kyrie Irving than any other Warriors player, while holding him to 38 percent shooting and 0.8 points per play. That’s a lofty goal for Harris to match.
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Limited Mens Austin Johnson Jersey However, compare Harris to Thompson at the same age and you come away thinking Harris has all the tools to get there. Last season, Harris averaged more points per 36 minutes, shot a better percentage from 3 and finished with more win shares than Thompson did as a 22-year-old. And he did it while playing more than 30 minutes per game, a significant piece of the rotation, even if he didn’t yet quite have as large of a role as Thompson did at that same point.