Xavier, pronounced Za-Vee-ay, Henry, not pronounced Awn-Ree (if you're going to mess with people's heads you might as well go all out, right?), scored 29 points. Assuming that he has never done that in an NBA basketball game, the last time he's done so was at Kansas. / hits up google..and yep! December 12, 2009 against LaSalle. That good ole Warriors defense is back. Going to be a great season, guys.
Anyway, this type of game, with a tad bit more hype than other preseason games - mostly because it's the first one - mostly gave the players a chance to get into game shape. No matter how many stairs, box jumps or liners you do in practice, it's a bit different on the court when you're moving in directions you don't normally do in drills. Or maybe that's my excuse for the Stephen Curry bricks, Andrew Bogut floater clanks, and Harrison Barnes awkward jumpers. Then again, those Klay Thompson layups looked like they were in, umm, future season (?) form? As long as ankles remained intact and energy level remained high, this would be a success.
And so it was. It started with Bogut, playing the defensive glass like a hyena set on fire and dribbling up the court if no guards were in sight. It was obvious he felt he had something to prove (perhaps rightfully so?) and played 17 minutes, all in the first half.
Some quick observations because I don't want to make this too long, given that I'm still getting into recap-writing shape after a slow offseason.
1. Barnes obviously worked on his handle this offseason. Whether he starts off the bench or not, he's going to get plays called for him, posting up at the basket or facing up. Regardless, he'll have to maneuver his way into shooting position and he had a nice in-and-out dribble in transition - that led to a turnover, but still.
2. It's going to be interesting to see how the shot distribution goes for the first unit. Assuming Barnes comes off the bench, both Curry, Lee and Thompson will get theirs. Bogut took eight shots and Iguodala seven but one would be hard-pressed to think they would each take more than 12-15 a game. Will they care?
3. The bench appears uncertain but it's clear Draymond Green and Jermaine O'Neal will have large roles based on their fit and physicality. And given that Bob Myers paid Marreese Speights out, one would think he's going to play, so that leaves the bulk of the last rotation spot to either Toney Douglas or Kent Bazemore. Both will play but I think if one plays well, they'll run away with the job. And by "run away", probably 15 minutes a game.