The Warriors are trailing by three, Cameron Jones hoists up a shot, the ball clangs against the front of the rim and somehow finds its way back to him as he grabs the rebound, the Nuggets trap him on the perimeter, he passes it out to Patrick McCaw with 1.1 seconds left on the clock and the defense scrambling, McCaw dials in from Stephen Curry range and... splash!
The buzzer beater to tie up the game in Denver and send it into overtime was a sloppy and exciting few seconds of basketball. McCaw wasn't content with just one clutch shot however, and he went on to nail a game winning floater in overtime, giving the Warriors a 129-128 win (much to his teammates’ delight).
Breh peep Steph on someone's shoulders after McCaw hit that game winner pic.twitter.com/kG8C0hIt8X— Warriors Talk (@JaeAzizi) October 15, 2016
McCaw is an unlikely hero; the Warriors paid $2.4 million to Milwaukee for the number 38 pick in the 2016 draft and Warriors executive Jerry West was more than enthusiastic at the time stating, "People are gonna be sorry they didn't draft him.”
The 20 year-old looked like a solid 3 and D guy; Warriors fans were hoping he could fill some of the void left by the departure of so many bench players from last season. This former Runnin' Rebel is now quickly becoming a Bay Area and DubNation favorite thanks to his solid start to the preseason and late game heroics.
While the game may have ended on a high note, for a while it wasn't looking good. Curry struggled to get himself into a flow initially; however, he inevitably heated up and dropped 22 points in 27 minutes despite shooting an abysmal 22% from deep. The starters in general appeared sluggish and the death lineup were dominated.
They were outscored 13-6 by Denver who opted to go with a lineup of giants using Nurkic and Jokic to pound on the Warriors interior defense (which will undoubtedly concern fans who were already worried about the Warriors lack of interior defense). Adapting to the altitude in Denver has always slowed teams down and this was also evident with the Warriors as Coach Kerr noted himself.
Kevin Durant played well in a small amount of minutes; he shot 54% from the field (6-11) and 75% from deep (3-4). Draymond Green was struggling for most of the night on both ends as Nurkic was throwing everything he had at him, and Klay Thompson continued to show that he doesn't plan on "sacrificing shit" shooting 12 shots to Durant’s 11 and totaling 17 points.
In the end, it's another win for the Warriors. While the sloppy play from the starters and heroic comeback from the bench is starting to become a slightly worrying pattern, it will hopefully be a different story in the next game against the Lakers.
L.A Lakers Preview
With the Denver game out of the way, the Warriors will be looking ahead to their game against Los Angeles. D'Angelo Russell has been on an absolute tear recently. Aside from a couple of poor games (most recently against Portland), he's had an outstanding preseason. He has delivered two 30 point games (33 vs Denver and 31 vs Sacramento), and in his most recent game against Sacramento, he also had 11 assists.
Despite the stat stuffing from Russell, the Lakers have only won two out their five preseason games so far. Russell will look to continue his hot streak and try to bring his team another win as the Lakers get their first taste of the new look Warriors.
Meanwhile DubNation will be tuning in hoping to see their new favorite bench player Patrick McCaw showing out in Las Vegas where he spent his college career with the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV. McCaw’s shooting as of late has been quite impressive.
Russell versus Curry will be something else to keep an eye on; no doubt Russell will want a chance to test his mettle against the league’s reigning unanimous MVP. And you never know, perhaps Curry will finally get back into the swing of things after a very inconsistent start to the preseason.
The Lakers will be looking to make a statement victory over the Warriors and have their young stars gain some more confidence heading into the season. Meanwhile the Warriors will just be looking for their starters to keep shaking off the rust and continue learning how to work together with the new additions. If the Warriors can do that and the bench gets another chance to shine (especially McCaw), then they'll likely be happy regardless of the outcome.
When: Saturday, October 15th at 07:00 p.m (Pacific time)
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas NV.
Coverage: NBA TV