Reactions: Kings 94, Warriors 92
|David Lee, PF 41 MIN | 6-13 FG | 8-8 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | +2
When Lee is patient and chooses his spots offensively he’s a better player and the Warriors are a better team. The shooting numbers don’t show it, but for the most part Lee let the game come to him tonight. Most notable were several show-and-go moves he made to score easy baskets and get to the free throw line. Defensively, though, there’s just nothing to be pleased about here. Lee was consistently out of position and late on rotations, at one point prompting a primal yell from Bogut in the process. The Warriors were beat handily on the glass, too, an area where Lee is supposed to make his mark.
|Harrison Barnes, SF 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | +2
The first six minutes of the game were Barnes’ busiest of the season, a development unsurprisingly met with both good and bad. He started the game missing an easy layup on the break and air-balling a three-pointer on the Warriors’ first two possessions, but stayed active on defense and off the ball to create easy scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. That’s the type of game he needs to play right now – one rooted in energy and enthusiasm. He doesn’t have the comfort, confidence, or skill at this point to be the isolation scorer some thought, as evidenced by two early failed opportunities.
|Andrew Bogut, C 19 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +2
This was Bogut’s most encouraging performance of the young season from an all-around standpoint, with Golden State’s early success and late, ultimately futile run coming with him on the floor. He scored four straight points to cut the Dubs’ deficit to three with a minute left, then blocked an Aaron Brooks layup – off a switch, by the way – on the other end that led to two Klay Thompson free throws and a 93-92 score. It’s easy to imagine that type of impactful two-way play over the course of a full game as the season progresses.
|Stephen Curry, SG 39 MIN | 3-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 12 PTS | 0
Curry shot the ball horribly tonight but found other ways to contribute. He missed his first eight shots from the field – many of which were very, very makable – and was generally out of sync offensively. He missed a long, contested three-pointer that would have won the game, too. Curry ran the team ably for the most part and found his teammates for several easy buckets, though, and really exerted himself on defense. Still, he needs to give the Warriors more than this.
|Klay Thompson, SG 39 MIN | 7-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | -2
It’s a credit to Thompson’s talent and his reputation within league circles that he can score such a quiet, understated 22 points and do so with efficiency. Combine that with seven rebounds, three assists, and a single turnover and you have the makings of bonafide star. It’s a double-edged sword, though, and that his imprint on the game didn’t support his impressive line in the box score deserves some criticism. Basically, he can do more, and it seems as if Mark Jackson is encouraging him to try. The next step is gaining the comfort and confidence to do so. Still, another encouraging performance from Thompson.
|Carl Landry, PF 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -8
Landry was bound to come back to earth after consecutive twenty-point outings and it happened tonight. It was more due to lack of touches and opportunity than effectiveness, though; for whatever reason he wasn’t a focal point offensively like he was Golden State’s previous two games.
|Festus Ezeli, C 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | 0
Selected 30th overall in June’s draft, by now it’s clear the Warriors got a steal in Ezeli. Players with his size, strength, quickness, and energy level are rare, and tonight he exhibited all of those traits. Unfortunately, the rookie also displayed why he was available that late in the draft in the first place – a decided lack of finishing ability in the paint. Ezeli, for now at least, has one of the worst pairs of hands in the league. If he improves on that, he’ll easily be one of the conference’s top backup centers.
|Jarrett Jack, PG 18 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -4
A bit like Landry, Jack regressed to the mean after three overwhelmingly successful games as Golden State’s backup point guard. Until a good late third/early fourth quarter spurt, he was one of the Warriors most ineffective players all night long.
Three Things We Saw
- Perhaps with the success of the season’s first three games in mind, Golden State opened the second half with Barnes initiating the offense on several occasions. With Curry and Thompson running around screens and catching on the wing, it was basically a version of the team’s small backcourt with Barnes in Jack’s stead. It didn’t yield many positive results, but it’s no doubt something the Warriors will come back to when they’re struggling for offense.
- Watching Bogut and DeMarcus Cousins push, shove, and fight on the interior was a joy. Only if every NBA game contained such a contrasting matchup of talented centers. When these two meet again, this is the matchup to keep an eye on.
- Draymond Green received a few minutes in the third quarter at small forward. He has the skill and nuance to play on the perimeter on offense, but lacks the quickness to defend opposing wings. While none of that showed much today, it’s something to remember as Golden State tries to find ways to cope with the injury to Brandon Rush.