Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
Well, that was an interesting game, to top an interesting day. The good news is we leave Phoenix with a win. The really good news is that Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut were able to play significant minutes on Opening Night. The bad news is that Stephen Curry and David Lee sucked on ice, in terms of shooting tonight. I don't expect too many nights like this from those two, or at least, not too many concurrently bad nights like this. So I'm not really concerned about that right now. Too many positives today to focus on a couple of bad shooting performances on day one of the season. This could have been a righteous blowout if Curry and Lee had even an average shooting performance. And if Bogut was able to get more minutes in the second half down the stretch. That will come in time. Maybe sooner than most of us had expected.
It looked like the Warriors were going to run away with the game in the second quarter when the second unit came in, but Phoenix kept coming back, and eventually took the lead. Fortunately, lead mostly by Carl Landry in the fourth quarter, the Warriors were able to cut into that lead and claim the close victory in the last couple of minutes.
Aside from Landry, Brandon Rush was really effective in the second quarter. Actually, all three small forwards (Rush, Jefferson, Barnes) had decent games tonight. Jefferson came up with some good defensive plays that lead to fast break opportunities, and Barnes continues to impress with his restraint. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but considering one of the biggest concerns surrounding him was going to be whether he would jack up poor shots, so far as a professional, he's been...well...professional. He seems to know his place on this team, and it looks like being a member of the starting lineup is helping that process along. At some point, we might start expecting him to be more agressive (because he shows flashes), but for now, I like what I'm seeing out of him.
And what can you say about Andrew Bogut? It's just going to be fun to watch him this year. It's not just his defense. It's his all around knowledge of the game, his court vision and awareness, and even his little lefty hook shot looked pretty smooth tonight. Can't wait to see more out of him.
The West is going to be brutal. Look at Portland clobbering the Lakers (and Dallas without Dirk clobbering the Lakers), and New Orleans hanging tough with San Antonio. Probably no easy nights in the West. The Warriors are going to have to bring it against the tougher teams. That will start Friday against Memphis, which will also be the first of 3 games in 4 nights. I'm sure you all are looking forward to this season as much as I am.