Everywhere you turned in the locker room, in the presser, and on the floor, the Golden State Warriors as a team could do nothing but gush about their leader and the league's MVP. It started with Interim Head Coach Luke Walton musing: "Tonight, he recognized we needed him early on, and he rode that emotion and put us on his back.". It continued in the locker room when Shaun Livingston was asked about how they won: "We have Steph Curry." And it ended with Draymond Green fielding so many questions about Curry that Ethan Strauss questioned if he was getting annoyed by it. Green also pointed out that despite Steph's exclusion from the conversation of the NBA's top players, it does take a year or two for people to adjust to how great a player can be.
This seems prime for one of those historic seasons an MVP can throw out there to start changing the minds of the masses.
There's nothing inherently wrong about a letdown game that comes after a team celebrates a championship on their home floor. Overcome with emotion, the Golden State Warriors received their rings in a ceremony that was rather tame and very classy. On the floor, the Warriors took care of business the way they had all of last season. There was no drawback, no sluggish behavior, and zero glimpses into the team that showed up all preseason. Sure, there were lapses here and there, but this team isn't perfect. They just act like it most of the time.
So GSW came out and essentially repeated what happened over and over and over again last season. It was a bludgeoning of an albeit injury-ravaged team while playing slightly mediocre on the offensive and defensive end. Like last season, they turned the ball over way too many times, looked sluggish on defense at the onset, but when necessary, turned the switch on and blew the opposition away. At this point, look for that to remain the theme all year.
- Oracle Arena was mediocre all night long and the capacity crowd left early in the fourth quarter. Not so good.
- Luke Walton said Steve Kerr had some advice for him at halftime, "Don't worry. We won 67 games last year and I didn't know what I was doing at all."
Though that was a hilarious aside from the interim head coach, Walton's pressers a tad different from the sneakily funny and insightful ones from Kerr. He is missed.
- Harrison Barnes had quite the night. And by quite, I mean it looks like not much has changed since last season.
- The switch is real. After a slow first quarter, the GSW defense clamped down on a Pelicans team that barely fielded an NBA roster on the court.
- I asked Shaun Livingston how he felt about the 3 he took at the top of the key, "It's coming."
- Draymond Green at the C happened halfway through the first. It didn't happen against after. I don't expect it to be a thing at all this season unless given extenuating circumstances.
- Curry's feet on defense is just getting better and better. What can't he do? Oh, the vision might be just as ridiculous as his ball-handling at this point. On a backdoor cut, Steph received the ball at the bucket and veering to the corner, he quickly flipped the ball behind him to a cutting Andrew Bogut. How he knew he was there, I have zero idea. That's just a great grasp of the offense and positioning at all times.
- On Festus Ezeli, Draymond brought up a point where Ezeli came into training camp telling everyone all these new moves and shots he's been working on. One day later, Green had to tell him to settle down and just be the player he is and not try to do ten things at once. Ezeli as simply a rim protector and roll man looks pretty good right now.
- The first game of the 2015 ended the same way as most regular season games of yesteryear: as I sat there bored checking airline flights for a vacation trip to Hawaii in December. What a time to be alive.