I couldn't believe the turnout the Warriors got for their open practice. There must have been over a couple thousand people in attendance. We met a lot of you at the event tonight as we handed out our business cards. It was awesome meeting you there, we'll probably see more of you at games. Also, some of you might be coming to the site for the first time, so we encourage you to check out the part articles, create a screen name and participate in the discussions. I had a great time tonight seeing the energy and excitement that all these fans brought to just a practice.
Can you find yourself?
As for the open practice, the Warriors were, to put it nicely, rusty. Nellie was on the mic for most of the first hour which was all about drills. One of the drills had the big men grab a rebound and dribble the ball up the court with a couple dribbles and then dish to a guard on the wing. Basically it's Nellie's unconventional way of getting the break started. Most times big men outlet the ball to the guard who then brings the ball up the floor. But in Nellie's system, the big man can start the break because as he says, big men in his system have to be able to dribble. I'm not so sure I want Foyle or O'Bryant dribbling the ball up the court, but if Murphy or Ike can get the break started that means the break starts just a little faster, leading to a lot more easy buckets.
They then switched to some 3 on 2 to 2 on 1 drills, a 4 on 3 drill and a zone defense drill. Nellie was ragging on some players saying about Ike, "That was his first block of training camp" or when someone dropped a pass, "Get him some gloves!" He was definitely having a good time entertaining the crowd with his witty remarks. He also praised some of the players such as Pietrus saying, "He's had the best camp so far." The zone defense drill they practiced looked like they were going to pressure the ball a lot. The defense rotated well when the offense passed the ball around the perimeter. Even the offense looked good as they would pass and cut, pass and cut. My goodness, there was motion on offense! Even better, players were constantly talking to each other on defense to help one another out, I couldn't help but smile.
Ike pulling down a board
In the second hour we got to see the first team (blue team) scrimmage against the second team (white team). I was actually really disappointed with the first team. The whole time, the offense looked like it did last year. There was no movement as they set up a lot of isolation and a 2 man game. Occasionally, someone from the weakside would move around but the offense looked stagnant. Even when it wasn't stagnant and the ball was being rotated around the perimeter, there were too many 3 point shot attempts. Pietrus, Dunleavy, and Baron were all culprits. Some were open 3's, but I would have rather seen them attack the basket and make the defense react. It feels like they still settled for the 3 pointers instead of being aggressive. But, Pietrus looked aggressive on the offensive boards as he battled for second chances and his D looked solid too as he was constantly in the face of his man. Then there was Dajuan Wagner. The man looks like a scoring machine. He's going to score and he's going to score in bunches this season. There were times he looked like he could break down any defender and get to the rack with his combination of speed and size. It looks like a great signing by Mullin and co.
Dun and Murph during a timeout on the jumbotron
What was possibly the most ridiculous part of the night was Dunleavy complaining and whining to the refs about a charge they called on him. Yes it was a bad call, but give me a break, this is a practice not a real game. He ran down the court yelling at the ref, took his defensive position and yelled at the ref. It got so bad that the crowd got on his case. People started yelling out to give him a technical. I'm not sure what his motivation was to argue with the refs during a scrimmage.
Like I said before though, the team looked rusty with some sloppy passes and 2 missed breakaway dunks (Baron and Barnes). The second team looked good though. They even won the game on a last second 3 pointer by Dijon Thompson. He hit a couple 3's in the last few minutes and Anthony Roberson looked very good scoring the majority of the second team's points. Zarko also looked good as he was able to score against both Dun and Murph (surprise, surprise). Foyle, looking slimmer, was a disappointment except for a late tip-in. He looked like he just didn't belong as he made some poor decisions and bad turnovers. Right now it doesn't look like he's going to get much PT.
One of the funnier moments came at the end with the rookie hazing. They had the two rookies, Patrick O'Bryant and Roberson play duck-duck-goose with a bunch of little kids.
Project O'Bryant playing duck-duck-goose
For those of you who showed up, what is your take on the open practice?