When asked about Brandon Rush's effort, Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton lightly quipped, "I joked to Harrison, Brandon Rush might have taken his starting job."
Walton, now 2-2 while filling in as head coach, reached into his inner Steve Kerr and got the entire media room laughing.
Unlike Kerr, Walton is more of a normal coaching interview, more serious with his answers while providing insightful analysis of the game at hand. While Walton was lightening the already calm atmosphere, there was a little truth in the verbiage. These Warriors are deep, very deep, and tonight in a meaningless exhibition game, it showed up once again.
It doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of the season but an interesting question I posed to the media section: how many games worse off are the Golden State Warriors if a guy like Brandon Rush starts in Harrison Barnes' place for about a month of the season? Barnes is obviously the better player but given a small sample size, is there much of a difference? And all that being said, well, what's that say about the seemingly promising young power forward?
Anyway, this game was about Brandon Rush's newfound confidence, where his release has quickened with force and purpose instead of last season's controlled hesitance. The rest of the bench played well and played hard, but this game was about that and one other thing.
Yeah, Patrick Beverley can't guard Stephen Curry. The starters barely broke a sweat in the first half but Curry dribbled and flipped the ball around his back and through his legs enough to show us that a healthy PatBev would have made zero to little difference in the Western Conference Finals. He repeatedly blew right by the vaunted defender with ease. He ran circles around him in set positions and moved by when overplayed. Nothing new for the MVP.
I've been blessed watching Stephen Curry play live for my third season now but as I watched him prance down the middle of the court in the first half, dribble behind a screen, covered by three taller players, then rise up anyway from about 25, and rain down while falling to his right, it dawned on me that I might be taking all of this for granted. Not the championship, not the winning, not any other accolade, but Curry's insane penchant for doing the supernatural. From dribbling to stopping and pulling up from NBA range over trees and fading sideways? When I type it out, it looks like a balancing act not even the greatest would dare try, and yet, Curry makes it look simple. It looks that easy. I just need to realize that it is one of the most impossible things to do on a basketball court of all time.
Leftover Observations and Quick Quotes
Leandro Barbosa looks much quicker than at this point last season. He got off to a slow shooting start but that doesn't seem to be the case this time around as it looks like some new muscle weight is helping him finish through players. A new beard doesn't hurt.
Marreese Speights is charge-hunting nonstop. The regular season is near.
James Michael McAdoo can't make a free throw this side of Andris Biedrins but his activity is nonstop. I have likened him to a poor man's version of Kenneth Faried where pure talent is outweighed by hustle and athleticism. He also set a superb transition screen for Curry and sealed a guard for great post position. Draymond Green is the master of that move.
They ran the weave!
Shaun Livingston is going to attempt a three sooner or later. Shaun Livingston is going to make a three sooner or later. Early in the second quarter, Livingston got about two feet of open space and Curry raised his arms at the scorer's table. Livingston didn't even look at the basket. This team is going to explode when he does nail one.
Teams are going to foul the Warriors in transition every single time if it means they can stop Steph from shooting in transition.