Everything was aggressive to start, with every player putting unnecessary ball pressure on the perimeter.
That’s how Klay Thompson and the rest of the Warriors played the first quarter of their last preseason game against the Trail Blazers, a 107-96 win that should help catapult them into a regular season groove, despite a rough go for the starting defense.
The first quarter seemed as though the Warriors wanted to take all the anger out on Portland. And in no uncertain terms, they got torched.
Stephen Curry said that’s what Portland does as a team, make you guard them so far away from the basket:
“They kind of ate us alive in the first six minutes, they used that aggression against us because we weren’t doing it in a very smart way. And then we started to figure it out and that’s what changed the second and third quarter.”
The Blazers went up 22-6 at one point, sidestepping the Warriors pressure with ease on the way to the rim and Thompson forcing up down right crazy looks even for him. He went 1-5 in the first half with his only make coming on a goaltend.
Kerr said that they just weren’t ready to play, but luckily they have players who can change the momentum quick:
“I thought what changed the game was Andre his stat line may not look like it but he changed the game. He started getting deflections and playing the passing lanes. I thought he and Draymond picked up the intensity and got us back in the game.”
The Warriors just can’t play angry, it was evident tonight and it was evident in Game 5 in the finals, the exact game that the anonymous team official said they played like cowards.
Once they shook that overtly aggressiveness, they were back to the same old Warriors.
Curry went crazy and finished with 35 on 8-13 from 3.
Kevin Durant truly exploded for the first time in front of Oracle Arena going for 14 on 5-7 shooting in the third quarter alone and finishing with 28. And the Dubs ran away with the game, winning comfortably 107-96.
That tag team has really played well together especially the last two games and Kerr said it’s for a simple reason:
“They are extremely good. That’s what’s working. They are both just really talented players and we know how lucky we are to have them both.”
It was a glimpse at just how scary this team could be, even putting aside Durant’s impact, the Warriors had five players shoot over 40 percent from 3 in the preseason.
Aside from the obvious Curry, Thompson and Durant there was Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw. That’s five of their top seven wing players, which is legitimately insane.
Clark who finished with 17 points said he learned a lot from watching Leandro Barbosa last season:
“Just being ready, coming off the bench being that spark. He played a great role for this team for the past two years, and it’s kind of hard to fill his shoes to be the exact player he is. But staying confident was the main thing he told me last year.”
Some of their old flaws did rear up, turnovers and Zaza Pachulia getting burned repeatedly but with a team full of shooters and the Mega-Death lineup in their in case of emergency glass case, this team seems just downright unfair, but supremely fun.
And that’s good because they are going to have to play with that fun energy and not with anger.
Clark who shot 7-11 continued to light it up this preseason. He could push Shaun Livingston’s minutes down a bit as Livingston didn’t enter the game until the nine minute mark in the second quarter, while Clark was the second one off the bench… Javale McGee was the only active Warrior to not play as he was questionable coming into the game after he tweaked his knee during shootaround.
After what must have felt like the longest preseason for NBA fans, the Warriors will finally get the regular season started when they host the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, October 25. It will be the Dubs only home game in October as their next three games will be on the road.