Steve Kerr might need Gary Payton II to guard Devin Booker as the Warriors face the Suns in their next matchup.
The Golden State Warriors are in desperation mode such that they get over .500 before the holidays. They stepped in the right direction against the Houston Rockets but still have notable absences. Not only are they missing Draymond Green but Gary Payton II has still not returned to the squad. They have an important date with the Phoenix Suns and Steve Kerr might need one of his best perimeter defenders to hound Devin Booker.
Steve Kerr unveiled that Gary Payton II has a chance to play against the Suns, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Warriors’ pesky defender will still remain day-to-day and his status may be a game-time decision.
Payton gives a decent boost off the bench for the Warriors. He averages six points on a 45.3% clip on all three levels of scoring. His tenacity allows him to tower over big men at times which nets him three boards per game. The most important part of his game is his insanely good navigation through driving and passing lanes. The Warriors benefit a lot from his 1.2 steals per game average which greatly helps on a perimeter and switch-reliant lineup led by Devin Booker.
His presence on the rotation also alleviates a lot of pressure off the shoulders of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. They could relegate the duty of guarding the primary ball-handler to Payton. This allows the Warriors guards to find better opportunities on offense without tiring themselves on the other side of the court.
Will we see Payton play?
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