On a night when both Stephen Curry (22 points on 8 of 18 shooting) and Kevin Durant (20 points on 7-of-15 shooting with 8 turnovers) both underperformed relative to their lofty standards, the Warriors needed an offensive spark. Fortunately, Steve Kerr had the perfect player to provide that sitting on his bench— Nick Young.
Playing his first regular season game for the Warriors, Young ingratiated himself to the fans and put the memories of a rough preseason behind him.
Young’s first three-pointer, though now wearing a Warriors uniform, was vintage Swaggy P.
Over Luc Mbah a Moute’s outstreched hand, Young sank his first shot to give the Warriors back the lead after their offense ground to a halt with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on the bench. Not the shot you would probably want to see a player adjusting to his new role on a new team take, but it was the introduction for the kind of night Young would have.
Young’s next three-pointer came as he received a pass from rookie Jordan Bell, dribbled to his left (as opposed to the catch-and-shoot) and put up the shot as Chris Paul closed out.
You know u want it: SWAG pic.twitter.com/OlD6wveyXT— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) October 18, 2017
That shot also gave us a very meme-able image of Young that will certainly be coming in handy as the season goes on.
Tongue hanging out, the finger three guns locked and loaded, Swaggy P had arrived at Oracle.
Two for two from three point range, Young displayed just how locked in he was on his next shot.
Again slightly off balance, Young puts up the contested three (with James Harden and Eric Gordon in the area) from well beyond the arc and sinks it for his third made three-pointer of the quarter.
This shot, coming early in the second, is perhaps closer to what the Warriors envisioned Young bringing to their team.
As the Rockets defense is pulled towards Curry and Durant, Young is left wide open to catch and shoot the three pointer.
Young wouldn't just score through the three-point shot, here is his pushing the ball on a fast break and making a two-pointer while getting fouled, getting his three points the old fashioned way this time.
But Young’s contributions on this night, and what he was brought to Golden State to do, were mainly of the three-point shot variety.
The Rockets’ defense closes in around Draymond Green, again leaving Young open to take another three-pointer that he made. Young would lead all scorers with his 20 points at the half, many of those coming during that first quarter stretch when the offense slowed to a crawl without Curry on the court.
After a long scoreless stretch, Young would score his final points of the night in the fourth quarter after the Rockets cut the Warriors lead to just four points.
Young would end the game with 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, going 6-of-7 from 3-point range. More importantly, he provided the Warriors offense with life in moments when it desperately needed some.
Though the Rockets would complete the comeback and pull out the 122-121 opening-night victory, Young displayed the kind of scoring he could bring off the bench for this team. Young also kept the Warriors ahead early in this game when their starters were struggling on offense. Though the result wasn’t what the team and fans wanted, Young still put up a strong offensive performance in his first regular season game in the Warriors uniform.
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