It wasn’t what anyone expected but it’s hard to ignore, the Golden State Warriors were simply dominated on their home floor in the season opener Tuesday night. The San Antonio Spurs stomped on Bay Area grounds with a basketball showcase at Oracle Arena, something that they have done many times in the past.

But now is supposed to be different. These are the new Warriors. The ones with Stephen Curry leading charge and now, Kevin Durant riding shotgun. Golden State came out flat and it showed from the first quarter. They were never able to get anything going consistently. San Antonio had an answer for every Curry three-pointer and any Durant dunk.

It was a horrid game to watch for any Warriors fan. It was bad and ugly, but let’s start with some of the rare good things we saw to start the season.

The Good

Stephen Curry looked like he could actually move. Hampered by a sprained MCL and ankle issues, the two-time MVP battled lingering injuries all throughout the 2016 postseason. He looked mobile on Tuesday.

kevin-durant-stephen-curryCurry hit the transition three-ball the same way he did in the regular season last year. He was able to attack the basket and get up quickly from the floor whenever he drew contact. Curry shot a team high six free-throws. He could move his feet quicker on defense and his man wasn’t getting past him at any moment.
Kevin Durant also looked good in his Warriors debut. He scored 27 points and shot a high percentage, connecting on 11 of his 18 field goals. He grabbed ten boards and served as a rim protecter for most of the night with two blocks. Durant looked comfortable from the get-go and was the only Warrior not showing nerves in the first quarter of the game. He didn’t look worried about doing too much or too little, he just played his game.

Neither Curry or Durant looked like the best player on the floor thanks to Kawhi Leonard, but they didn’t struggle like the rest of the team did. They held their own but can play much, much better than they did in the first game of the season. This duo will give fans plenty to look forward to during the year.

The Bad

Klay Thompson struggled heavily. He missed open jumpers and an easy lay-up to start the game. Maybe it was the curse of Charles Barkley, calling him the second best player in the world before the game. No matter the cause, Thompson’s struggles weren’t fun to watch. The Warriors haven’t seen so many wide open misses since number 40 was in their jersey.

draymond-greenThompson is a notoriously slow starter, though. Last year, he didn’t have score 20 points in a game until the 8th game of the season. He didn’t score 30 until December. Thompson will get his shots to fall eventually. And with Durant in town to keep giving him easy looks, it’s only a matter of time until the streaky shooter gets into rhythm.

He showed clear signs of frustrations and it might take him a few more games until he’s adjusted, but there is no reason to worry. Many (myself included) have predicted that the two-guard will lead the team in scoring this year. I still think he will.

Another thing to keep your eye on is Draymond Green’s technical count. He received one on a soft call when he screamed after a dunk. His reputation around the league is quickly growing, especially after the 2016 playoffs. Officials could start giving him the Ron Artest and Rasheed Wallace treatment. This, of course is bad for the Warriors emotional and vocal leader.

The Ugly

Jonathan Simmons outscored the Warriors bench by himself. The reserves went 0-9 from beyond the arc and had six turnovers. Not one player off the bench looked like they belonged in the game. Ian Clark did not look ready for the back-up two role. Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala looked a step slow. David West looked like he was still in San Antonio. Javale McGee got dunked on. Anderson Varejao was Anderson Varejao. It was Patrick McCaw’s first game, so you have to cut the rookie some slack.

Curry, Durant, or Thompson will likely play with the bench unit most of the time to have at least one scorer on the floor.

Zaza Pachulia was handled on the glass all night. He had three rebounds in 20 minutes of action. LaMarcus Aldridge had 8 offensive rebounds and Leonard had 3 of his own. David Lee had twice as many rebounds as Pachulia in 9 less minutes of playing time. Dewayne Dedmon had more rebounds than Pachulia and West combined. Ouch.

The frontcourt and bench won’t be this bad again. They ran into a good Spurs team and just weren’t ready to compete at all.

The Miami Heat struggled when they first assembled their big three. If they were successful with Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Andersen, Golden State will be just fine. It’ll take time for the Warriors to all get on the same page, but it’ll happen. This team is way too talented to let this one loss hinder over their season. It was the first game of the year, so there is no need to overreact. Leave the hot takes at home.

It counts as just one loss in the loss column, no matter how ugly it was. The team’s next home game is against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in about a week from now. Its probably safe to assume they’ll be more than ready to go for that one.