Basing our projection on the Golden State Warriors’ Sunday night victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dubs will demolish the Lakers in each meeting by 27 points, from now until eternity. If we add a small dose of reality to said projection, we realize that the first preseason game of an NBA season is, as it always was, virtually meaningless.
No Laker starter played in the second half of the Warriors 110-87 victory in Fresno, which was the primary reason for the Warriors’ 37-10 advantage in the third quarter. Knowing that the Lakers didn’t throw their best at the Dubs—of course, Golden State didn’t play its big guns much either—there are still a few things we can take away from Sunday’s contest.
The Warriors Can Still Shoot
Golden State made 56 percent of its field-goal attempts against L.A., including nine of their 16 tries from beyond the arc. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with four made threes on six attempts. Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson also made each of their two three-point tries while Jarrett Jack went 1-for-3. Rookie Harrison Barnes got his shots up, but missed all three of his attempts from long distance.
Overall, the Warriors figure to shoot from downtown far more frequently this season than they did against the Lakers, but their accuracy looks great so far.
Rebounding Was Solid
After being the league’s worst rebounding team last year, getting on the boards has been a point of emphasis all offseason. On Sunday, the Dubs outrebounded the Lakers 40-38. Considering neither Andrew Bogut nor Dwight Howard played for their respective teams, this game’s rebounding environment won’t reflect how things will go during the regular season. But for now, at least the Warriors deployed a collective effort to attack the glass.
No Warrior had more than David Lee’s seven pulls, but seven Warriors had at least three boards. Carl Landry even had two offensive rebounds in just 16 minutes, a good sign for the Warriors’ second-chance opportunities going forward.
Andris Biedrins Remains Invisible
When you’re fighting for minutes like Andris Biedrins is, it’s usually a good idea to at least put forth a little effort. On Sunday, Biedrins pulled the same disappearing act he’s been perfecting for the last couple of years. In 11 minutes, he managed to commit four fouls, get one steal and put up zeroes in every single other statistical category.
Not one rebound, not one point and not one assist. He shot the ball one time and missed.
Biedrins’ total absence from the game, even when he’s on the floor, is getting a little old. He’s clearly just going through the motions when he plays, content to jog back and forth while contributing absolutely nothing to his team. At this point, the Warriors are playing 4-on-5 when he’s out there.
No wonder Jeremy Tyler and Festus Ezeli are both ahead of him on the depth chart.
The Klay Thompson Breakout Hype Continues
Thompson was the Dubs’ best player against L.A., making it three consecutive meaningless games in which he’s dominated—if you count the two Summer League contests he played.
Thompson made 7-of-11 field goals , including 4-of-6 threes. He had 18 points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal in just 26 minutes. One thing to note is that Thompson did not earn a trip to the line. He’s made getting to the foul stripe a focal point this offseason, as he knows he’ll be a far more dangerous weapon if he can put the ball on the floor and draw contact every so often. He’ll have to continue to work on rounding out his game if that’s to become a reality.
But nobody’s complaining about his performance against L.A.
The Rookies Looked Good
The ones that played, anyway. Draymond Green is still not at 100 percent, nursing some left knee inflammation. But both Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes played nicely.
Ezeli, who got the starting nod while Andrew Bogut continues to be handled with kid gloves, played 22 minutes and made all three of his field goal attempts. He defended without fouling, tallying just one violation in his time on the floor. He pulled down four boards and also added a block to his stat sheet. Overall, his plus-minus figure was +20, second-best on the Warriors.
The only better plus-minus figure belonged to Harrison Barnes. At +22, Barnes led the Warriors. He made 5-of-11 shots on the way to 13 points. The Warriors’ No. 7 pick added a couple of boards, an assist and a block in 24 minutes. He did a solid job of getting to the line when his outside shot wasn’t falling, making three of his four foul shots. Though Brandon Rush got the start at small forward, Barnes played more minutes and put up some nice numbers.
The Warriors’ next preseason contest is Monday, October 8 against the Utah Jazz in Oakland.