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Warriors use preseason sacrifice of T’Wolves to entertain China and challenge starters

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Steph Curry flexes his muscle as Dub’s starters show out and bench bigs show up.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

Dub Nation Has Three Questions

Preseason serves as the low-intensity preamble to the long, punishing grind of the 2017-2018 year. It’s weird as long-suffering Golden State Warriors fans to start discovering what it’s like to live with championship expectations. After winning two of the last three NBA championship trophies, the Dubs are the overwhelming betting favorite in Vegas. The champs are using the shorter than normal exhibition schedule to steadily reactivate their weapons of mass basketball destruction while integrating some new pieces.

Part of that process involves answering a few questions:

  • Are the starters suffering from any championship hangover?
  • Who is emerging to solidify the big man rotation?
  • Is Stephen Curry still the most terrifying scorer in the history of basketball?

Early this morning in Shanghai, Dub Nation received some emphatic answers to those burning queries as they choke-slammed the Minnesota Timberwolves, 142-110.

The Big 4 Are Ready For The Season

If anybody was wondering if the Dubs four reigning all stars were still stuck on vacation: they aren’t. We know the Warriors feed off humiliating their opponents. Who can forget a hilarious GSOM reflection about how they “Weaponized Joy” to crush the league? When the Dubs are trying to break an opponent’s will, they crank up the showmanship and start unleashing disrespectful jump-shots like cobra strikes.

Once they start scoring, their defensive intensity skyrockets, and the feeding frenzy commences. Every turnover or missed shot by the other team transforms into pure chaos as the surging Warriors hunt to see how many YouTube highlights they can generate in succession. Today’s shellacking of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first case in this new season of this entertaining phenomenon.

It didn’t begin that way though. The Warriors had a sleepy start rife with lazy defense. As the Minnesota Timberwolves lurched out to a 44 point first quarter, it was clear that the Dubs weren’t quite locked in on getting stops. Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns pounded the paint and forced the champs into compromising positions. The T’Wolves were beginning to look like the monster they have been widely predicted to be. After winning the last pre-season game, Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau’s pack of athletic wolves seemed to be getting a little too confident with attacking the Dubs.

Suddenly in the second quarter, down 10 in an arena of mostly Dub supporters, the champs finally took interest in the contest. It was as if they appreciated young Minnesota’s moxie; the strong motivation needed for the Splash Bros to unleash a casual flurry of suffocating basketball excellence.

Steph Activates The Quick Pace
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Steph Keeps Up The Intensity
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Steph aggressively pushed the pace on both ends, ratcheting up the tempo to blinding speed. As the Warriors got their mojo going offensively and defensively, the degree of difficulty on the shots started increasing. To thoroughly entertain the delirious Chinese contingent of Dub Nation which packed the arena, the champs used the Timberwolves as a blood sacrifice to open the portal of Basketball Nirvana.

Klay Finishes Globetrotters-esque Play
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Dray Gets Lucky in Shanghai
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Klay Thompson was 8-for-10 from downtown for 28 points. Kevin Durant had an easy 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Draymond Green chipped in 14 points while knocking down half of his four trey attempts. Steph only played three quarters and I’m gonna revisit his stat line a little bit later.

Bottom line: Our big guns are definitely already in playoffs form.

SlimVP In Dagger Mode
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The Big Fellas Emerge

Zaza Pachulia has proven himself to be a steady opening option at center. Although many fans have clamored for a more dynamic anchor down low, he’s savvy and tough enough to provide a comforting presence for the starters. JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell are doing their damnedest to shake all that up though.

McGee is working to distance himself from the other bigs on the depth chart. He had a short but active night with 8 points (2-for-2 FG’s), 3 rebounds, a steal, and a block in four minutes of play. Rookie Jordan Bell tried to one up him by having his own perfect night from the field (5-for-5 FG’s) for 11 points with two steals in six minutes. They both impacted the game with their hunger and athleticism. It’s tough to pick which guy had the more dominant sequence today.

Javale On Both Ends
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Steph Is Still The Most Explosive Weapon in Basketball History

Can you believe only 4% of NBA GM’s would select Stephen Curry to start a franchise? “Unanimous” had 40 points on 20 shots (6-for-9 from three) with 8 assists and 6 rebounds…in three quarters. LOL. He puts up gargantuan numbers like these with the breezy nonchalance of a Subway sandwich artist wrapping up a cold cut combo. Nobody in league history can bury a team with three point daggers as quickly as Steph can from the point of attack.

Steph 2-Way Dominance
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Steph’s Handles Are Too Spicy
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When he starts pushing the rock and orchestrating chaos, he unlocks the Warriors highest potential. The 2x MVP maniacally probed for every weak point in the defense, and terrorized them for every mistake. It was neat to see him take the finely tuned formula racer of a basketball team for an obnoxiously fast test drive over the confidence of the T’Wolves. Did you notice he hit ANOTHER no-look, contested bomb?

Shoot By Faith, Not By Sight

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked after the game what’s it like seeing Steph go crazy. Kerr deadpanned, “Um….uh, I’m glad, he’s on our team”.

We’re Almost Done Here

Although the record is an ugly 1-2, the preseason is going swimmingly. The Warriors and Timberwolves put on a fantastic show for their hosts in China and charmingly expanded the NBA’s global appeal. The Dubs’ long trip allows the team to bond while sharing a new experience. With aspirations of repeating their title run hanging in the balance, the preseason is best utilized as a gentle feeling out process. Thankfully, so far it has has positively answered a few of Dub Nation’s early questions.

There’s only one more preseason game, a friendly exhibition with Omri Casspi’s former squad, the Sacramento Kings. After that, the games really count. It looks like the champs are feeling just about ready to defend their throne.

Poll

Who was the Warrior Wonder for the first preseason win?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Kevin Durant
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    Draymond Green
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Zaza Pachulia
    (11 votes)
  • 76%
    Steph Curry
    (1446 votes)
  • 2%
    Klay Thompson
    (39 votes)
  • 0%
    JaVale McGee
    (14 votes)
  • 0%
    Andre Iguodala
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Patrick McCaw
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    David West
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Shaun Livingston
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Omri Casspi
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    Jordan Bell
    (276 votes)
  • 0%
    Michael Gbinje
    (14 votes)
  • 0%
    Georges Niang
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevon Looney
    (14 votes)
1879 votes total Vote Now