Takeaways from Golden State’s final preseason game


SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry was in midseason form in the Warriors’ preseason finale Friday night.

If there was any question, Curry probably faked you out and sank a step-back 3 over your outstretched hand. After hitting the second of three trademark triples during a stretch late in the second quarter, Curry stumbled over a fan in courtside seats.

He appeared to pick up a slight limp on the next defensive possession, but Curry quieted any doubts about a possibly gimpy ankle when he shook one Portland defender out of his shoes, then another and switched hands as he leapt for a lay-up, which he completed as he fell to the floor and a whistle sounded, awarding him a well-earned foul shot on top of the made basket.

The Warriors used the onslaught of scoring to easily handle the Portland Trail Blazers, 119-97, and complete their first perfect preseason in franchise history.

Consider Curry’s performance a trailer of what’s to come this season.

His 41 points in 30 minutes were the most scored by any player in the NBA this preseason, and he needed only 19 shots to get there. He finished 7 of 14 from distance, heating up in the second quarter, when he scored 15 of his points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, and didn’t exit until late in the third quarter.


Curry didn’t appear to need any additional tuneups before Golden State opens the regular season Tuesday in Los Angeles, but coach Steve Kerr was critical of the team’s conditioning in preparation for next week.

The Warriors may have wanted a “full dress rehearsal” in their final preseason game, but that wasn’t possible Friday, Kerr said, because players weren’t ready to go. The problem could persist into the beginning of the regular season, Kerr said.

“Frankly, guys are not ramped up enough to play the number of minutes we’d like them to play in the regular season,” Kerr said before Friday’s contest.

The Warriors’ starting five of Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole played deeper into the second half than any previous preseason game. In 24 minutes apiece, Poole contributed 16 points, and Green added 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Nemanja Bjelica finished second in scoring with 12 points in 21 minutes.

Preseason success

Of course, Kerr’s assessment comes with the caveat that the Dubs navigated a preseason without losing a game, however meaningful, for the first time in franchise history.

What’s success in the record book worth in exhibition play? Recent Warriors history doesn’t offer much of a track record.

Golden State hadn’t finished a preseason above .500 for three years.

The Warriors started their first two title runs under the current regime with preseason marks of 6-2 and 6-1. But their most recent championship season started with a 2-2 preseason record, and they went 3-4 before setting an NBA record with 73 wins (but no Larry O’Brien Trophy) in 2015-16.

Roster spots

Curry wasn’t the only one to offer a preview of the regular season Friday night.

The Warriors’ rotations are coming more into focus as the preseason comes to an end.

Bjelica and Damion Lee were the first players off the bench, followed by Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala. Rookie Moses Moody also saw significant minutes alongside the starters for the second straight game.

Mostly absent, however, was Juan Toscano-Anderson, who only entered Friday’s game well into the fourth quarter. No reason was given before tipoff for his limited minutes.

Avery Bradley, a veteran competing for the final roster spot, didn’t play after coming off the bench as one of Golden State’s first substitutions in its first two preseason affairs.

Gary Payton II is Bradley’s top competition for the final spot, but he also did not play in the preseason finale.

He made his debut Tuesday night in Los Angeles after offseason hernia surgery and contributed 12 points, including a few cutting dunks, but hasn’t been able to play or practice since.

Kerr said the Warriors have yet to decide whether they will fill the final roster spot, which comes at an additional financial burden because of the team’s status at the top of the luxury tax bracket.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! The News Motion is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment