Earlier in the week, professional thorn-in-the-side and part-time head coach (and apprentice GM) Doc Rivers did the classic "insult you then ask why you're peeved you got insulted" routine with the Warriors organization. After that hypocritical holier-than-thou act, the Clippers doubled down on their disrespect of the Warriors by wearing their practice jerseys in a match against the Warriors!
(Not really, but low hanging fruit and all...)
The Warriors fell to the Clippers, 95-130, in a lethargic tire fire narrated by professional thorn-in-the-side (and avid "Coaching for Dummies" reader) Mark "Platitude" Jackson. It was as painful as an injury-free preseason game could be, which... no, yeah, is still pretty harmless.
You can check out the rancid box score at your own discretion. The bottom line? No one wearing actual NBA uniforms on the Staples court had a particularly good night. Klay Thompson was throwback Bad Klay. Superficially good point total on seemingly nice efficiency (and wow, un-Klay Thompson levels of FTAs), but ultimately the offense had to stop for him to generate his points. He's a generational talent in the purest of terms, but in order for that talent to contribute to winning basketball, he needs Stephen Curry in there to smooth over the grinding gears of the offense with vaseline.
Which didn't occur last night because Steph was out. DNP-HMVPTP. Did Not Play--He's the MVP and This is Preseason. Joining him in the latest fall fashion from Express Men's on the bench were newly signed Warriors Xavier Henry and Chris Udofia; the injured Kevon Looney and Andrew Bogut; good-as-gone (sorry to say) Jarell Eddie; and fellow "too good for preseason"er Andre Iguodala.
Astute readers of box scores will quickly realize this means that the Warriors that fell behind by almost 40 points were not, as one might assume, end-of-bench goons with no hopes of actually making the final roster. No, these were championship rotation players. And the Clippers themselves hardly overplayed their top guns in an effort to embarrass the Warriors--four of the top six players in terms of minutes played last night were Warriors starters.
What You Need to Know:
The Warriors have been in a preseason-long doldrums, the lassitude only being interrupted when Kevin McHale sent a sacrificial lamb to the Oracle for the slaughter. For those of you keeping track, we still haven't seen the Warriors operating at the dominant level we know they're capable of since June 10, 2015, Game Four of the NBA Finals.
...Should we be concerned?
Well, no. It's preseason. Without the head coach. Or the associate head coach of last year. One of those things will of course be remedied as soon as the regular season starts. Another of them will (hopefully) be remedied by then, too. There's a lot of unstructured disorder taking place, all in the context of games that ultimately don't matter. None of that's conducive to good basketball.
It is worth noting that this is also a departure from past Warrior philosophy of "WIN EVERY GAME". Maybe the idea of getting into the habit of winning games, no matter the insignificance, was a trait that died with the departure of Jackson. Perhaps it's just the championship Warriors just being too battle-hardened for such an innocent, wide-eyed mantra. Or maybe it's signs of a cracking cultural infrastructure within the organization; a symptom of an arrogant disregard for little details.
Or maybe it's just preseason.
What You Don't Need to Know, But You Should:
Don't ever talk to Chris Paul like he's a kid.
Chris Paul does not want you to talk to him like he's a kid pic.twitter.com/8FruIdvDJ1— Becca Laurie, PI (@imbeccable) October 21, 2015
Yeah, that's Paul getting tossed from a preseason game. DeAndre Jordan subsequently had a gnarly spasm.
Voices of GSoM: