It’s general widespread knowledge that history is bound to repeat itself. Believe it or not, this idea can be applied to basketball, too.
In 2010, LeBron James ditched the Cleveland Cavaliers after yet another early round playoff exit with a mediocre team. James’ decision to join All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to spearheaded the most frenzied NBA offseason in recent memory, if not ever.
Very few people posses the juice that James and Kevin Durant have. Potent enough to send shockwaves throughout the entire planet for months. When a player like James or Durant decides on a new home, a tremendous amount of pressure builds over the entire summer.
And then it all gets released in one, somewhat meaningless regular season game. Welcome to opening night.
Now back to this idea about history repeating itself. Back in 2010, James lost his first game with his new look Heat, at home.
Unfortunately for Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors, their first game ended in a 29-point blowout, also at home.
The San Antonio Spurs came into Oracle Arena like they had been cryogenically frozen since January, only to reluctantly thaw out in late October already in mid-season form. The Warriors on the other hand are #lightyears away from midseason form, but that’s okay. Because this is simply the first of many steps in the NBA’s drawn-out journey.
A somewhat ticked off Klay Thompson said after that a game such as this one can turn out to be a blessing in disguise later down the road, “We needed a game like this to wake us up a little bit. It shouldn’t come down to this but it’s a long season.”
Stephen Curry reiterated much of the same, citing the Warriors’ lack of effort on the glass, which paved the way for the Spurs to dominate by plus-20 in second-chance points.
“We have a lot of work to do, there’s no denying that,” Curry said after the game. “But I still think that we’re in a pretty good spot. You give a team like [San Antonio] who executes really well anyways, that many second chances, it’s tough.”
Curry continued to reassure the collective basketball world that these are merely effort plays that can be remedied with a healthy dosage of film and increased effort.
“The good news is [that] for the most part, those are things that you can work on ... and [to have] the mindset—collectively—to help out on the glass and try to be better next game.”
Curry also stated that the offensive identity of this team hasn’t changed. The Warriors’ shots were there. They still put up 33 3-point attempts, many of which are makeable by Warriors’ standards.
However, combine a poor shooting night from distance with a lackluster effort on defense and the end result will most likely be a lopsided loss. Some of the Warriors’ ugly turnovers also point to the fact that nerves may of played a role as well.
As Durant said, it was a much anticipated first game of the season, “There was a lot of energy in the building, so guys may have been a little tense but that’s NBA basketball,” he concluded in his postgame press conference.
“We can’t wait a half to play good basketball. But you know, it’s just a matter of us getting better from it and keep learning from it and we’ll be fine”
After last season, the Warriors are painfully aware of when their best basketball of the season needs to be played, which is in late May and June. And as of right now, they don’t seem too worried about their opening night dud.