An aesthetically pleasing flow of basketball is objectively beloved, but to understand the differences in styles between the Golden State Warriors of old and them of now, is exciting not in, perhaps, the process but the ideal. So often we love to watch fadeaway threes, steals leading to acrobatic finishes and bone-crushing blocks, but more likely than not, those are direct results of isolation-ball, sloppy and selfish defense, and late rotations. The Warriors of now, as Stephen Curry so eloquently stated in the in-game interview, understand that no matter how fun and entertaining it was to score a bunch of points, it's realistically and pragmatically stated that defense will take them to where they want to be.
So it isn't the least bit surprising that the Warriors, coached by a fiery Darren Erman, has shut down the two teams they've faced, while not having a player score more than 21 points in either game. With the addition of Andre Iguodala and a healthy Andrew Bogut, the Dubs are hoping this new mindset (started last year) is going to extrapolate into the regular season.
Sac ran something from GSW's "chest" series, the Warriors players called it out, and the play blew up.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) July 16, 2013
This also helps as well.
The stats from the game can be found here.
I'm not sure if you guys want a game recap so much as how each player fared—let me know in the comments. But the standout players, again, included Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green, with Ian Clark and Scott Machado joining the show this time around.
Bazemore looked great on defense shutting down the seventh overall pick, Ben McLemore, but that's a given at this point. His lanky arms and excellent instincts are top-level NBA-ready and there will be minutes for him this year. What can set him apart as one of the first players off the bench will be the way he handles the rock when Curry isn't on the court. On one notable play, he dribbled at the top of the key, tried to split a double-team, but it resulted in a turnover and bucket the other way. His now-famous wingspan should help him with a lower dribble, and with the passing and shot coming around, Bazemore's play is encouraging.
Green's shot finally returned—I truly believe his postseason shooting was more the norm that the abysmal regular season performance—and his great play was summed up by a between-the-legs dribble into a smooth left-hand finish as he out-quicked a non-suspecting defender. It was also part-entertaining and part-bemusing to hear him scream out something inaudible on my TV screen every other possession.
As for the players looking to crack the roster, both Machado and Ian Clark played well despite looking visibly frustrated on several defensive possessions. Machado struggled to shoot in the beginning but began to find his legs and driving lanes in the second half, attacking relentlessly and creating shots despite his small stature. As the games roll along, look for Machado to pile up the drives and assists.
Clark, on the other hand, finished 5-10 from the field, and 3-6 from distance, finishing with 14 points and winning the battle of the shooters between him and James Southerland. A 45.9 (!!) three-point shooter in his last year at Belmont University, Clark didn't hesitate with his shot and Bazemore, Machado and Green were able to find him on drive-and-kicks. As is with any player trying to make a roster on the Warriors now, if there is improvements on defense, his shooting may prove invaluable as a guard.
The next game is tomorrow against the Milwaukee Bucks at 3:30, PDT. Be sure to look out for interviews and more stuff tomorrow.