It was Klay Thompson bobblehead night at ‘The Tank’ (SAP Center) on Thursday night where the Golden State Warriors played their third preseason game against the Sacramento Kings. I have to admit I was a bit bummed to not get there in time to get my own personal bobblehead (traffic was heavy), but it was great to see DubNation loud and proud in San Jose.
By the time the game started, the house was packed, and it was clear the Warriors were going to play to a sold out crowd. As I started live tweeting, I wondered what Warriors team I would see. Would it be the ball movement masters I had watched on TV a couple days before when the Warriors had mowed over the Clippers?
The good news is that the Warriors won 105-96. However, you know how the Warriors at times torture their fans with close games? Yeah, well it was one of THOSE games.
Now I will give you a minute to think about why some of these close games happen.
Personally I’m thinking of a specific word. And that word is...
Notoriously known for having this weakness, it doesn’t seem the presence of Kevin Durant has mitigated the phenomenon.
In fact, last night the Warriors had 24 turnovers, 15 of which were in the first half and led to 16 points scored by the Kings. And unfortunately a lot of them were not the acceptable, easy to gloss over kind. Passes were intercepted, the ball was knocked out of people’s hands, and there was some trouble in transitions.
Thankfully the Kings also struggled a bit with paying attention to detail and making plays.
In short, the Warriors still have some work to do in cleaning up transitions, protecting the ball, and setting up their plays.
On the bright note, there were still plenty of 3-point and 2-point shots made, a couple exciting three point plays by Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, and a layup here and there. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 25 points, and Ian Clark definitely saved the day in the fourth quarter when the reserves took over.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Warriors were tied at 78-78. After a hard foul on JaVale McGee from Kings forward Matt Barnes, there were words between Green, Durant, Stephen Curry and DeMarcus Cousins. The crowd heckled Cousins a bit and yelled at him to sit down. He threw some looks and words back.
As the fourth quarter got underway, Patrick McCaw and Ian Clark hit back-to-back three-pointers and the crowd began to get involved yelling “Let’s go Warriors” and “Defense!”, Varejao got us some offensive rebounds (hard to come by thus far on this new Warriors team) that seemed to build some momentum.
Then in the last few minutes of the game, Ian Clark hit consecutive three-pointers, followed by a play drawn up by Coach Kerr, which resulted in a three-pointer from James Michael McAdoo. The Kings’ fate was sealed as they fell to the Warriors while the crowd shouted out the iconic “WARRRRIORRRRS” cheer.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I know, it’s only preseason; however, I only attend so many games a year, and one always wants to see their favorite team win in person.
The moral of this preseason tale is this: the Warriors have some continued work to do, but they are chalked full of playmakers, from the starters to the reserves. McCaw is a star in the making, and Clark brings stability and tested confidence to the bench.
And don’t worry. The Warriors’ mini feud with Boogie Cousins in between the third and the fourth was just some competitive joking around. After the game, there were pats on the back and more bantering. Then Cousins was spotted hanging around the Warriors locker room area while Durant was interviewed. Draymond Green spoke to the media about it as well.
“It was definitely fun. That’s how it’ll be. Like I’ve always said, everybody gets mad when you are friends with somebody. It just makes it more competitive. It’s cool. “
I’m kind of wondering if they were really trashing talking about who was going to buy dinner. I guess Cousins got dinner this time. Remember Draymond Green talking about this on the Conan?
Anyways, the Warriors won in their standard “win anyway you can” style and everything is right with the world. I’m sure this won’t be the last preseason San Jose game.
“The crowd was great, very loud. Always great to come down here. San Jose’s been pretty good to us.” -Draymond Green
For more preseason fireworks, we will have to have to wait until October 14th when the Warriors take on the Nuggets.