It’s finally here. The Golden State Warriors season opener in Oracle Arena. Their first nationally televised game of the year. I, along with thousands of fans around the country, threw on my jersey and sat down to enjoy the game with a smile on. And throughout the game, there was never any reason to stop.
The Warriors played the first game of their season against California rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. This season, the Lakers are all out of sorts being without superstar Kobe Bryant, as well as losing nearly their entire team from last year to free agency (which was an underachieving squad as is). The only player that they have on contract past this season is guard Steve Nash, who sat out tonight with a neck injury. Harrison Barnes spent the game on the Warriors’ bench due to inflammation of his left foot. Turns out, he didn’t need to be on the floor for the win tonight.
Klay Thompson could do no wrong on the court, exploding for 38 points on the night along with shooting five-of-seven from beyond the arc. Stephen Curry chipped in some points, but most of his contribution tonight was distribution, dishing out six assists. Andre Iguodala looked as good as ever, completely locking down whoever he matched up with on defense. Bogut changed so many shots that I lost count, and added a couple blocks to go with it. David Lee looked just like himself from last year, nearly notching a double-double in his first game with 24 points and eight rebounds. Draymond Green looked great off the bench, logging some points as well as acting as a tertiary ball handler and playing solid defense. Even Toney Douglas had a good game, dropping 13 points including three-of-six from three point land.
The only low points were that Marreese Speights couldn’t by a jumper tonight despite it being his strength. Good news is that he contributed a great dunk late in the game. Jermaine O’Neal made a reasonable contribution on offense, though it took some time for the bench frontcourt to find their center (no pun intended). He also drew three charges and passed well. There’s really no part of the game that looked bad tonight.
Before we all get too high on tonight’s blowout 125-94 win though, remember that the Lakers are a weak team this year despite upsetting the Clippers (who the Warriors play next) just a day ago. However, the team looked fantastic. Passing was crisp, defense was stepped up in a big way and looked totally frenetic, and the Splash Brothers are as good as ever.
If tonight’s been any indicator, the season ahead looks so bright we may just all need a new pair of sunglasses.