Warriors basketball is back! REJOICE! We ended up losing our first preseason game, but the hell with it. It’s just nice to see our boys back on the court. The team was a bit rusty from long range and the play was ugly.
However, there was one bright spot that stood out.
Rookie Jordan Bell played a cool ten minutes, coming off the bench and showing us glimpses of what we could expect this season. Not even a minute in, Bell was already making an immediate impact.
Defense to offense - On this play, Paul Millsap directs a quick pass to Nikola Jokic under the rim for what should have been an easy lay in. Jordan Bell was late running back on defense. While running back, he keeps his eyes squarely on the ball as he routes his way towards Jokic. An easy play would have been to just hack Jokic over the back. Bell keeps his arms up and rotates his body around Jokic to get in front of the ball.
From there he is just using gravity to strike the ball down and block Jokic’s shot. Rotating in front of Jokic allowed him to keep the ball in play with Steph Curry just an arm’s length away.
Curry snags the loose ball and runs back in transition to hit the pull-up three. It was a pump fake by Jokic and he was expecting the young rookie to blow right by him for an easy layup. But credit to Bell for being patient enough to get an optimal angle on the blocked shot.
Opps upside ya head - We have seen so many missed lob opportunities to Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, and Zaza Pachulia in the past few seasons. Enough that we could probably prepare a low-light reel. JaVale McGee filled that need and we saw the Warriors run plays just for him to take advantage of his athleticism around the rim.
This was always one of the weaknesses in the Warriors’ offense; the poor timing and miscommunication with their Center to receive an alley-oop dunk.
On this play, Draymond Green launches an alley-oop well beyond the three-point line towards the rim. To set up the play, Bell peels off of Jokic as Curry is curling up court. He acts as a decoy to pull Emmanuel Mudiay away from the play. Bell jukes towards Curry as if he is headed to set a screen on Curry’s defender and then takes a sharp cut to the basket.
The play was reminiscent of a quarterback throwing a 5-yard in route to his receiver and having his man go up top for the grab. This was a beautiful play design for Bell and something Steve Kerr and the coaching staff will try to highlight when Bell is on the floor. Timing and footwork were solid.
It was a short stint on the court but Bell showed what he was capable of while running with the starters. The whole team looked fairly rusty but Bell managed to look crisp. He could be what we had hoped Festus Ezeli would have evolved into. A secret weapon.
lollll Iguodala made Paul Millsap fall off the damn tv screen pic.twitter.com/CsKO5tfA1L— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) October 1, 2017
Runner up Play of the Night - This would have been play of the night, had Andre Iguodala made the jumper. Iguodala almost meme’d Millsap’s soul out of existence. Just a little bit more on the shot and we would have had something like this to enjoy for the rest of the preseason.