Pride goeth to play the Kings. Mark Jackson speaks with confidence and brimming belief.

“We will be a good defensive team. We will take pride on the defensive end”

While I’m not sure retrospect loves such proclamations, it is a refreshing pace change from cliche coach speak.

I am not so optimistic. This is largely the same roster, with the same damning problems. While Jackson’s motivational techniques could conceivably make an impact, I’m not sure a coach can close the chasm between playoffs and whatever this team was.

Tonight was encouraging, though.

The Warriors are trapping frequently and with ferocity. Last year, the Warriors were often defensively helpless on account of over-helping. When some botched trapping led to Marcus Thornton jumpers, I feared this would be the new GSW “exacerbate the problem with solutions” technique.

Then, the pressure defense began to bear results–especially when Udoh involved himself. GSW managed to force turnovers in the final stanza, icing a game that had slowly thawed in the 3rd quarter.

Notable players:

Klay Thompson: Klay wasn’t good. This was his first game, but Thompson gunned nervously and erratically–like a man running out of a WWI trench. At least he was active.

Ekpe Udoh: Ekpe was very good, flashing some offense on the block. It is crucial for Udoh to improve as a scorer, so as to vault him past Joel Anthony status.

Jimmer Tebow: Jimmer looked like collegiate Jimmer. Meaning: He can play at this level.

Jeremy Tyler: I was shocked to see moments of Jeremy Tyler competence. “Is it time for us to finally give Japanese basketball leagues some respect…” is a sentence I could never have envisioned writing before tonight. Tyler’s main issue: The game’s speed can envelope him at times. There are occasional plays where Tyler finds himself leaping into a fray that used to be a fray.

Dorell Wright: Wright played hilariously. A mid court lob to David Lee, a behind the back dribble after a pump fake, a fadeaway over the Jimmer. This was experimentation done by a mad scientist.

Non-germane notes:

Thought I’d spied a “Nigerian shake” from Udoh, but he denies such shaking occurred. Ekpe went on to elaborate about the young team’s progression, but was disrupted by Stephen Curry mumbling gibberish in Ekpe’s cadence. I asked, “Are you aware that Stephen Curry is making fun of you?” A smirking Udoh responded, “That’s just the bond we have,” as Curry mumbled louder.

25 Responses

  1. gw

    Not largely the same team in many ways. Yes the starting five will likely all be returning player, even possibly the same starting five from last year. The bench is almost entirely remade. Thompson, Tyler, K. Brown, Ish Smith, D. McGuire, C. Jenkins and Rush are not only all newcomers but all figure to get minutes, even significant minutes. Also a good many are either solid on the defensive end or even (Brown and McGuire) defensive specialists. This is a year that the bench will be invaluable and the Warriors have made it to suit nearly to a T what Jackson has been preaching. Not only that, but they are young (great for a shortened year) and going to get better. I have no idea how you see this team as largely the same as last year’s team, unless you are only looking at the starters, and I believe this would be a serious mistake.

  2. EvanZ

    I like Ekpe’s voice. It has a certain amount of gravitas. I think after his basketball playing days are over, he could replace that dude who does all the movie trailers.

  3. DeuelWarrior

    Great game. Was Klay killing it? No,but he was creating his own shots and it’s clear that he wants to
    Improve and he will as he learns the pace of the game. I like the Lou trade because it frees up more time for Tyler. Tyler should grow everytime he plays(next year he will be known). It’s not often I hope we get someone in the second round and I am actually hoping for. This year we did. He has insane upside and I believe we have some high character guys who will show him the ropes and a hard nose new coach who will make him better in all aspects. The team looked really good. David Lee was back at his pre” bit in the arm” form. Ekpe looks better. He is gonna grow all year.

  4. Ryan R

    If the rookies play like the did last night the whole year and defense is the same (minus all the fouls) we’re going to have a big year.