The Warriors took on the Clippers in Los Angeles to begin the preseason. In the same arena that ended their season, the Warriors had to start off on the right foot there too. It was the first game action for both teams.
The Steve Kerr coaching era commenced with a few missed buckets and turnovers. It’s noticeable that the Warriors don’t have the timing down but it is expected in their first game together since May. Blake Griffin is noticablely confident in his jumper, even adding a three pointer. Shooting 4-6, Blake has been all money from 18 feet and further. This can spell trouble for the Warriors in the future.
The “Splash Brothers” on the other end could not find the bottom of the basket from the field. They combined to miss their first eight shots and finished the quarter 1-9. The lone bright spot for Warriors would be their starting front court producing 10 points on 6 shots and picking up the offense while the back court struggled.
Draymond Green and Leandro Barbosa are playing exceptionally well off the bench and providing energy. While starting the quarter down 28-24, the Warriors bench play was better than the Clippers and took back the lead.
Curry met foul trouble and picked up his fourth foul with 3:53 remaining in the half. As hard as the Clippers are to defend, the entire team’s defense is nowhere near regular season standards. Just because the Clippers have a good front court, that doesn’t allow the Warriors’ big men to get a pass; they simply need to defend better. Griffin already had 18 points and seven boards in 16 minutes.
All the early reports of Kerr’s offense to consist of pick and rolls held true. There had been a number of on ball screens to try and force the defense to scramble. Kerr’s offense immediately have made the big men look great. Great interior passing and finding the open man has led to 21 points for Lee and Bogut on a combined 10-11 shooting. To this point Green has chipped in 8 points and Barbosa has led the bench in minutes. It was a shock to see Thompson and Bogut already playing 17 minutes while none of the training camp invites have seen the floor.
Green came out and attempted to prove he can fill Kerr’s stretch four position. He quickly sank two three-pointers and brought intensity on both ends of the floor. He played 9 and a half minutes, scored eight points on 3 made buckets.
The second half begins with the regular starting five but with Kuzmic at center rather than Bogut. Sooner than later, Curry fouled out finishing with 12 points and there was more than seven minutes to play in the third. Interesting to see Kuzmic get extra run while Marreese Speights stayed put on the bench.
With one half of the NBA’s best backcourt disqualified, Thompson turned it up and looked to have found his groove sinking shots and driving to the basket for an emphatic dunk. Nemanja Nedovic got an opportunity to run the offense with the Brazilian Blur at the tail end of the quarter.
The Warriors had slowly pushed the lead to double digits but ended the quarter poorly and only led by six. Justin Holiday and Speights join Nedovic, Barnes, and Green on the floor.
With an 88-82 lead, Kerr began to unload the bench. He makes a James Michael McAdoo substitution for Speights. It’s discouraging to see Barnes so quiet throughout this game.Simply a huge game for Nedovic; he made his presence felt and is looking more confident and better than ever.
The Warriors kept up the defense and cruised to a 112-94 victory. Unfortunately, Aaron Craft, Mitchell Watt, Jason Kapono didn’t see any floor time from tonight’s game. In a game that started back and forth, the Warriors’ bench simply outplayed whoever the Clippers had on the floor. Besides Speights, every player to see the floor scored; note that Speights only played less than five minutes.
Although he started slow, he ramped up his offense in the second half. With Curry fouling out extremely early, he put the scoring load on his shoulders. Defensively, he continued to pressure the ball which led to his four steals. The worst part of his stat line is the five turnovers but that should be cleaned up with more games.
Things to Improve:
Turnovers: It’s not a shocker that the first preseason game had some sloppy moments. Both teams finished with 23 turnovers in a high scoring affair. The timing and chemistry was missing early which led to turnovers but eventually it’ll decrease.
Defense: The Warriors bigs were getting outplayed by Griffin.Beyond Griffin, the Warriors did a good job on containing the Clippers. With the game progressing, the Warriors showed their depth in the front court.
Nemanja Nedovic: He completely dominated the fourth quarter. He handled the ball with confidence, hit open jumpers, and got to the rack. After a rookie season with little playing time, Nedovic is trying to show he can play at the highest level of basketball. His 12 points came from shooting 50% on his 6 attempts and 5-6 from the free throw line.