Las Vegas, NV - In what was easily the most entertaining game I've seen here in Vegas so far, the Warriors lost at the last moment to the Atlanta Hawks.
In a back and forth game, chalk full of missed shots, momentum swings, scrappy defensive stands, and an appearance from my new favorite NBA player (more on that later), Glenn Robinson III's free throw with 25.3 seconds left ended up being the difference as the Warriors lost 71-70.
Coming down the court as time expired, the Warriors had a chance to win the game, but LaDontae Henton's wide open 3 pointer JUST rimmed out.
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Warriors fans were well represented, cheering loudly. The post-finals gleam still has not worn away.
Looney is a TENACIOUS dude. Just battled and grabbed his own rebound like three times. Such length.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) July 13, 2015
I missed Friday's game, so this was my first time seeing Warriors first round draft pick Kevon Looney in action.
Holy God. That dude is going to be a gutsy, defensive presence if he can stay healthy. Every single ball in the air is his. You can see it in his eye. He looks at this leather ball floating through space towards him, and he grunts at it, "You are mine," and then lo and behold that ball becomes his.
His arms are so long, so skinny. He is wire strong and needs to add muscle, but damn, he's 19.
Again, a lot of this is predicated on him staying healthy.
I wish Looney didn't seem like he's always on the precipice of tweaking something— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) July 13, 2015
But considering that the Warriors are basically returning everybody from the championship run (RIP #FullSquad w/ DLee), and didn't really need to add any one piece, Looney may very well be the steal of the draft. He runs well, gliding effortlessly. His aforementioned crazy long arms claw and scramble for possession. He must have incredible hand strength. I'm really looking forward to watching his development this year, be it at the end of the bench or in Santa Cruz.
James Michael McAdoo had a solid night. In a little over 27 minutes, he posted a line of 17pts/3rebs/2asts, and played at a high level of physicality. He may not always do the right thing, and in fact you can count on him being out of control on many of these plays, but he did at times look like the best player on the court.
Here's what Luke Walton had to say about JMM:
"He's a, he's been—he's so much fun to coach. He uh, he works hard, he's all about the team and he just, he keeps getting better and better and, uh, yeah, tonight, again, he just did it. His teammates love playing with him, he gets them involved. He makes plays he rebounds, so... A lot of fun coaching him."
Now to my own personal favorite, STAINBROOK!
Seriously, I'm all in on the Matt Stainbrook train. I remember watching him during this last year's NCAA tournament, and I was ecstatic to see that the Warriors signed him to their Summer League team.
I don't know why I like him so much, but I do.
Actually I do know.
I'm only referring to him in caps, so get yourselves prepared for that.
OH SHIT. STAINBROOK TIME.— Bram Kincheloe (@BramKincheloe) July 13, 2015
GOGGLES FOREVER https://t.co/fbnKHRnOuT— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) July 13, 2015
STAINBROOK TWO OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS ON ONE POSSESSION!— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) July 13, 2015
His stat line was so very STAINBROOKIAN. In 12:38, he scored 4 points (on 1-4 shooting), was 2-2 at the line, pulled down 4 rebounds (3 of them offensive), and scored 1,000 extra style points for rocking the goggles.
I'm asking for an interview. Hopefully more to come.
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After the game, coach Luke Walton had some interesting things to say regarding the game.
"It always, uh, it always sucks to lose. But, you know, like you said, even—you learn a lot from those type of games and from a teaching point, all game, we kept, you, telling em that we have to play with a, uh, a higher energy level. And so even though even though that shot at the end we felt like was a good shot and could and would go in most nights with a shooter like that, you just don't wanna put yourself in a position like that for when it does rim out and you lose a game. So it's important to play the full 48 minutes, and not have so many peaks and valleys like we did tonight."
Summer League is beautiful in that way. Outside of a season ending injury or something of that ilk, there's really no way to lose a Summer League game. Every moment is a chance to teach. Every game a chance to evaluate talent.
Last quote, again from Walton:
"Well, uh, you know, it's just—it's a good lesson for young guys that in the NBA you lose and you gotta get over it, you know? You take a "lessons learned" from that loss, but, you know, you play four or five nights back to back all the time in the NBA. So it's a good lesson for them to get some experience in, letting a loss go—a tough loss like this—getting back to the motel, getting some sleep, and getting your body ready again for tomorrow."
The grind never stops. It feels like the Warriors just marched through Oakland, and yet here we are, beginning anew. Searching for hidden gems deep in the desert of Vegas. Talking about talent, talking about hope.