The Warriors were in scramble-mode after two-time MVP, Stephen Curry went down with a scary knee injury when then-teammate, JaVale McGee crashed into Curry’s knee trying to retrieve an offensive rebound. It was dead silent in a once-raucous Oracle Arena when Curry went down.
Who could fill in for the injured Curry?
Head coach Steve Kerr tried everyone from Shaun Livingston to Andre Iguodala to Pat McCaw. However, there was one player he had yet to try at the starting point guard spot for the defending champions.
Enter undrafted and two-way player: Quinn Cook.
Cook, who was little-used and spent time in both Santa Cruz and in the NBA, played admirably. From mid-March to the end of the regular season, Cook had double-digit scoring games in all but one, including 30 points against the Bucks, 28 points against the Suns, 25 points against the Kings and 21 points vs. the Pelicans.
In the video, Cook shows his ability to spot up and shoot, and how he can shoot off the dribble as well. He also has a nice lob pass to McGee, showing his unselfishness and willingness to get his teammates involved. Cook shows his craftiness around the rim to finish over bigger players.
He showed his scoring prowess with a variety of moves, including a floater, mid-range jumper and the three-point shot as well. Cook did not just show his scoring ability, but also a willingness to pass the ball to his teammates and provide the proper leadership a point guard needs to have for his team on the floor.
Offensively, Cook is a solid player with a wide variety of skills in his arsenal with shooting mid-range jumpers and threes as his main weapon. He has other skills including his passing and his clever finishes inside the paint.
However, the next step for Cook is to become a better defender.
It could be slightly challenging for Cook to become a better defender because of his size. He is generously listed at 6’2″, but he has the foot speed, quick hands, and high basketball IQ to become a better defender.
Cook’s overall defensive rating was 107.6 with the Warriors last season, which is not ideal, but it can change. Cook can become a better defender with all of the elite defensive talent on the team, such as Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Jordan Bell, and Iguodala.
From a team standpoint on the defensive end, Cook knows where to be, when to rotate on defensive help and when to switch. He knows when to double team and how much defensive pressure to apply to a double team.
On the defensive end, individually, Cook can slide his feet and move defensively with the offensive player. He has great anticipation for getting steals and quick hands to deflect passes and strip the ball of bigger players in the post.
Overall, on the defensive side of the ball, Cook has all of the tools to be a solid defensive player. Now, he just has to put it into action and having an assistant coach and defensive guru, Ron Adams along with the other defensive minded players on the team will help his development on the defensive end tremendously.
After the NBA Finals this past year, Kerr went up to Quinn Cook, hugged him and told him, “you earned your spot in the NBA.”
Kerr is not wrong about Quinn Cook and now, Cook just has to keep playing his game, while improving on the defensive side of the ball.
Look out league, “Quinn-sanity” will be in full effect next season.