There were times in the opening stages of last season the Golden State Warriors ran an offense somewhat similar to what's happening right now: a perfect storm of free-flowing movement and confidence running into improvisation. It ended up in Andre Iguodala midair behind-the-back passes to David Lee under the basket. It sparked a #FullSquad movement and promised something sustainable. Unfortunately, injuries struck and the lack of depth and creativity beyond the core 5-6 players exposed the offense. In this short preseason alone, the Warriors are laying waste to the notion they might finish in the middle portions of offensive efficiency, injuries or not.
In a twist but not actual a twist because we've been whining about it all offseason, Steve Kerr started Harrison Barnes over Andre Iguodala. It was to give the bench some offensive versatility while providing some of what Iguodala brings to the offense with Barnes - body build, I guess? Either way, this wasn't the game to gauge whether it was effective or not, as Stephen Curry came out and annihilated the rim and arena with fireballs flung into anything with a net. Barnes even got a three, drive off a dribble-and-kick, and an alley-oop dish from Curry.
The rest of the game moved about the same way the previous one went, with the Warriors doing whatever they wanted on offense and the Lakers sort of fumbling around on either end. They weren't going through the motions so much as trying to figure out how to go through the motions in the first place. It was an awful showing for a team that's going to be simply horrendous all season long.
And to show an example:
Almost all of the Warriors shot are either at the basket or from 3. Lakers only 1 three & a lot of mid range. pic.twitter.com/reiVIe1vVs— raining3s (@raining3sdotcom) October 13, 2014
That's just the first half. The Warriors ended up shooting 33 3s while the Lakers reluctantly, as if bribed on the sidelines by Byron Scott to consistently avoid them, hoisted up three. Appalling not only in terms of basketball smarts but just in a total lack of awareness and up-to-date knowledge of anything.
1. Klay Thompson caught a ball two feet behind the arc in transition. 2013 Klay would have launched without hesitation, not a bad process given the likeliness of a successful result. 2014 Klay wait for the defender to jump out at him, drove to the basket, and fed David Lee under the rim at the last second. As Thompson matures into a better playmaker - as everyone is hoping he can - these plays will become much more common.
2. The bench lineups are going to be fun. Depending on what Kerr does with the starters, he has an assortment of wings and guards to throw out with experience, length, shooting, and defensive prowess to combat seemingly every situation. His first bench lineup included Iguodala, Draymond Green, Curry, Klay, and Ognjen Kuzmic. Not a bad assortment of shooters and defenders. He can mix up Leandro Barbosa with defenders and Brandon Rush with creators off the dribble. There's enough depth this season to the point where the on-court headaches like Jordan Crawford and Marreese Speights will see very little playing time.
3. Iguodala is an excellent offensive player when he isn't forced to score 20+ points, an issue he had in Philadelphia and some might have had with him when Curry went down last season. Iguodala isn't a pure scorer and he doesn't advertise himself in that sort of manner. He works best as a patient cutter and ball-handler best left to recognize where the optimal spots are for his players. Iguodala literally slowed down a 2-on-1 fastbreak in the second quarter to drop off a pass to Thompson for a wide-open three. I almost teared up.
Anyway, I missed most of fourth quarter again because of those San Francisco Giants. Clue me in with the comments below.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors in Des Moines Arena, IA, October 16, 4:00 PM.