The Bad: Same old issues
Many of the issues that plagued the Warriors during preseason reared their ugly heads in the season opener, chief among them Golden State’s inexplicable tendency to commit bone-headed fouls for no apparent reason.
The Dubs were undisciplined early on, racking up 15 first-half fouls and digging an early hole for themselves. They cleaned up their act in the second-half, but this is an issue that hurt Golden State last season and should’ve been addressed in training camp. It’s the first game, and overreaction isn’t warranted, but this Warrior squad is generally undersized and they will have to work extra hard to defend without fouling against bigger, more physical teams.
Jonathan Kuminga’s work during training camp garnered a lot of preseason hype and his impressive preseason only amplified expectations. However, this was largely a night to forget for the 21-year-old. He had his moments, flashing improvements as a cutter and interior finisher, but Kuminga couldn’t stay on the floor and his decision-making left a lot to be desired at both ends. He deserves a slight pass, as dealing with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant is never an easy task, but Kuminga will have to do his best to stay grounded moving forward.
Veteran shooting-guard Klay Thompson shot just 28% from the field during the preseason, and that poor shooting trend continued into the season opener on Thursday. Thompson shot just 6-for-18 from the field, including 3-for-11 on three-point attempts. Thompson was the beneficiary of more than a few wide-open looks, but they just wouldn’t fall. There are going to be nights like this for the 33-year-old and as a result he’ll have to look to impact the game in other ways.
Though his shot wasn’t there tonight, Thompson’s willingness to put the ball on the floor and collapse the defense was encouraging. Interestingly enough, he seems more comfortable attacking the paint post-catastrophic injury than he ever did previously– not only a sign of his inspiring comeback but a token of his unwavering confidence.
Once upon a time, Andrew Wiggins averaged nearly nine rebounds per game on basketball’s biggest stage against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. On Tuesday night, the Canadian could only manage to haul in one total rebound as the Warriors’ starting power forward. He was a -22 on the night, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
The shooting woes will resolve in time, but Golden State can ill-afford for Wiggins to be a dud on the glass. The Warriors don’t possess anyone on the roster over 6’10”, and to close out defensive possessions they’ll have to focus on rebounding as a unit — no exceptions.