Oct 8, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) dribbles up the court during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden State Warriors successfully triumphed over the Los Angeles Lakers in their preseason rematch, bringing the series to a 1-1 tie. The Warriors 100-95 victory was marked by spectacular performances by David Lee and Stephen Curry and solid contributing performances from Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Jermaine O’Neal, and Klay Thompson.
The top performance on the Dubs came from the sole All-Star from last season, David Lee. While Lee’s effort on defense is often maligned, the Florida product demonstrated why he is one of the best offensive power forwards in the game. He scored 31 points on an efficent 75 percent from the field, making 12 of his 16 attempts. He also was able to score from the foul line, making seven of his 10 free-throw attempts.
In terms of non-scoring offense, Lee showed that he could pass the ball as well as anyone as he dished out four dimes. Lee also did work on the boards, racking up six rebounds in his 38 minutes of playtime.
Curry also had his best preseason performance, despite again having difficulty finding his shot from deep. Curry scored 24 points on 38.8 percent shooting, making only three of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc. Despite having difficulty with his three-point attempts, Curry was effective at getting to the charity stripe and made seven of his eight shots from the free-throw line.
The young superstar also improved his assist-to-turnover ratio, dishing out seven dimes and only coughing up the ball twice. This is the most important improvement in Curry’s game, as for him to scale the ladder of point guards, he must get better at handling the ball.
While the game was largely dominated by Curry and Lee, several role players also made impacts in the victory. Bogut racked up 14 rebounds and was one point shy of a double-double. He also managed to get two blocks, one steal and four assists, demonstrating that he is one of the most versatile bigs in the game. Iguodala continues to impress with his efficient scoring and versatility, as he scored nine points on 50 percent shooting while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists. O’Neal notched a 1×1 with two points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block in 16 minutes of play. Given his age and injury-history, a solid 15-16 contribution from O’Neal is more than the Warriors could hope for.
Last but not least, Thompson led the bench in scoring, yet did so inefficiently. He scored 13 points on a disastrous 29.4 percent and only made three of his nine three-point attempts. 33 percent from beyond the arc isn’t horrible, it’s just lower than the expectation for Thompson, one of the most elite shooters in the game. While the rest of his stat line was lackluster, his two blocks and one steal show that his on-ball defense is ever improving.
Preseason games should always be taken with a grain of salt, yet it felt good watching the Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers,a team they had no business losing to in their first encounter.