Let’s just say it.
The Golden State Warriors have started the 2017-2018 campaign rather uninspired and poorly conditioned.
Their lowlights include:
- Blowing a double digit lead at home to the Houston Rockets on “Ring Night” in a loss
- Getting down 17 early against the mediocre New Orleans Pelicans before clawing back for a win
- Being wrestled into submission by the Memphis Grizzlies on the road, 111-101. Stephen Curry was ejected for throwing his mouthpiece in protest and Kevin Durant was tossed out for angrily coming to his defense. As Andre Iguodala yelled at the referees for their removal of the two MVP’s, KD strutted off the court waving his ring finger to the Memphis fans. As if to say, “I’m a champion, I’m now impervious to your boos. And this double digit loss? Meaningless to me.” #SUPERVILLIANS.
Stephen Curry was fined $50K, Andre Iguodala was fined $15K, and Kevin Durant stayed woke when he had to fend off questions about his hand gesture. The champs were blowing games and cash, and head coach Steve Kerr mentioned after the depressing showing against the Grizz that the team needed to get it’s joy and laughter back.
Sometimes in life, during the hard times, it can help to seek out an old friend. A friend that can remind you of how cool you really are and reassure you that everything is going to be alright. Thank goodness the Warriors got to meet up with former Dub teammate Harrison Barnes in his new Dallas pad! Let’s take a closer look at the Warriors 133-103 destruction over an overmatched Mavericks squad.
KD vs the Black Falcon
I was morbidly curious to see what would happen when these two matched up. Barnes was an integral part of the 2015 championship team, and the 73-win team as well. He was also a lightning rod of debate for Dub Nation as he pressed for a max deal, but didn’t consistently play to that standard. Durant, on the other hand, is one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Swapping HB for KD was a pretty huge upgrade, even if it was bittersweet losing a member of our young core.
KD last night: 25 points, 8 reb, 6 assists, 9 of 15 from the field (4 of 6 from trey), 2 turnovers
HB last night: 13 points, 7 reb, 3 assists, 6 of 15 (0 of 3 from trey), 1 turnovers
Warriors with Harrison Barnes vs Warriors with Kevin Durant pic.twitter.com/OL21icoOi9— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) August 8, 2017
SlimVP had his first game this season with under five turnovers after NINETEEN over the first three games. He was silky smooth, drilling long range buckets with ease and eating in the flow of the offense. In the first quarter he had a sequence where he hit back to back threes in semi-transition and then cut without the basketball, to the rim, to be rewarded with a dime from Steph for a dunk. That’s eight straight points with only one dribble, aka Warriors basketball.
Barnes showed flashes of athleticism on a couple drives and even attacked Durant off the dribble for an awkward, herky-jerky floater that seemed to catch KD off guard. My personal favorite was this VINTAGE BLACK FALCON move.
DUNK by Harrison! This play from the 2nd quarter is tonight's @PlainsCapital #MavsMOment of the game! #MFFL pic.twitter.com/ZKWX5zL3wC— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 24, 2017
Despite HB’s best efforts, he still reminds me a lot of the same player he was in Golden State. He has flashes of potential mired in the muck of inconsistency. He’s still not explosive enough to consistently blow past his defender for easy buckets. His shot still looks a bit flat. He also doesn’t have the savvy to get to the foul line to get himself going, evidenced by his paltry three free throw attempts last night. I wish him well, but I am certainly grateful we have a small forward who can actually dominate.
Steph is still hot
Less than 24 hours after torching Memphis for 37 points on 17 shots, as well as terrorizing a referee with a flying mouthpiece, Steph was on the warpath. He had a 8 assists, 4 steals, and 6 unfortunate turnovers to go with his game high 29 points. He was perfect on two pointers (5 of 5 attempted) and free throws (13 of 13) but only 2 of 10 from downtown. He played with an edge, looking to bury the Mavericks with a series of scoring flurries.
I wonder if he was still a bit upset about being ejected in the 4th quarter two days ago, and decided he was going to skip this game’s final period as a matter of protest. As is his custom in double digit blow outs going into the final frame, “Unanimous” delivered a soul crushing dagger at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Clutch Curry at the end of the quarter pic.twitter.com/OOvjIuuh0I— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) October 24, 2017
That’s called the “Hey everybody, I’m gonna go ice my knees for the next half hour” jumper.
The bench played like starters
While much has been made of Steve Kerr’s curious rotation choices, the reserves made him look like a genius last night. The bench mob actualized our “Strength In Numbers” war cry into a potent reality, making 18 of 23 shots from the field. Shaun Livingston morphed into Kobe Bryant-lite, posting up Dallas defenders and melting their faces off with cruel turnaround jumpers. Iguodala pushed a controlled pace and showed some spring in those old knees on some sweet dunks.
Look out below pic.twitter.com/UJ4kwNmQd1— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) October 24, 2017
Nick Young logged in 19 minutes (2nd most off of the bench behind Iguodala’s 24 min) and buried 4 of 7 treys en route to 13 points. Coach Kerr appears to have greenlit the instant offense Swaggy P can provide, and Young is taking full advantage of it with some quick trigger shots.
Jordan Bell, David West, and Javale Mcgee all received at least ten minutes of playing time and kept the momentum rolling. Dallas does not have intimidating bigs like the Pelicans or Grizzlies, but it was still refreshing to see our back up bigs control the paint. That experience will be valuable going forward, especially for the young phenom, J. Bell.
4th Quarter highlight/lowlight
Speaking of Bell, he continued Steph and KD’s brand new tradition of doing something obnoxious in the 4th quarter. The rookie’s learning fast?
!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/0QA0f2wUrX— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) October 24, 2017
MY GOODNESS! This dude is a super athlete and a natural showman. The defensive pride he had to block that long range shot in a game that was already in hand?Impressive. Unfortunately, this And1 move didn’t go over to well with the young big man’s head coach, Steve Kerr.
With the game out of hand in the final minutes, Golden State rookie Jordan Bellwas free on a breakaway and bounced the ball off the backboard before dunking it. Kerr told Carlisle after the game that he said something to Bell about not showing up an opponent. "That was a bit much, but it was just a rookie being a little excited there I guess. That's on us," said 39-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, in his 20th season with the Mavericks.
Was Bell disrespecting his opponent by treating the end of a 30 point beat down at the hands of the Golden Overlords as a perfect opportunity to try an “NBA Jams” video game dunk?
Okay, yeah, maybe a little. Either way, this is a feel good win over our old pal, Harrison Barnes, and his not-so-great team. Now that we’re back at .500, hopefully this massacre will calm down any nervous fans and get us back on track.
Our next game is at home against the pesky Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, 10/25. Let’s see if the Dubs fire off a decent win streak the rest of this week.
Who was the Warrior Wonder versus the Mavericks?
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