“Embrace the suck, boy!”
This was my dad, hollering at me through a hole in the floor. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old, crawling underneath my childhood home to shovel out some dirt (we were putting in new air vents or something). It did indeed suck, the mildew smell of stagnant dirt, spiders everywhere, and there was no room to operate so i was banging my elbows and head all the time.
But my dad kept talking to me about accepting that this wasn’t awesome. However, it was a job that we were going to finish, damnit. The approaching season is beginning to feel like that to me. Something we are all just going to have to get through in order to attain our eventual goal.
By traditional measures, the Warriors didn’t have a great preseason. As it comes to an end, Golden State finds themselves at the bottom of the standings, one win and four losses. Most of this is due to the starters playing limited minutes. Check out our top useage guys from the preseason:
Curry from 3 in the preseason: 14 of 27
Klay Thompson from 3 in the preseason: 16 of 29.
The rest of the Warriors from 3 in the preseason: 20 of 89.
That’s better than 50 percent for both backcourt stars and 22.4 percent by their teammates.
Now, this is obviously a mixed message here. On the one hand, Curry and Thompson have looked excellent - there’s no mention of Durant, but he should also be included in the list of guys who have looked awesome. And that’s great because these are the ones who will truly decide how high this team climbs this season.
Below that though? It gets as ugly as that crawl space below my old house.
22.4% three point shooting from the rest of the team could be problematic. New acquisition Jonas Jerebko has looked (as Brady would say) “decidedly mediocre.” Draymond Green has been hobbled by a knee injury, exactly the sort of lingering concern that is reminiscent of last season’s persistent shoulder issues.
Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.
There’s a scene in the movie, Doctor Strangelove where the main characters are in their war room, discussing a so-called Doomsday Machine. The idea is that it’s a sort of “ace up the sleeve” - a final and complete response to any sort of critically dire situation.
But like that clip above, I feel like we are maybe not advertising our own Doomsday Device enough.
After the Splash Triplets (patent pending), our leading preseason scorers are as follows: Quinn Cook (10.4 PPG), Damian Jones (9 PPG), and recent addition Alfonzo McKinnie (6.6 PPG). If you are worried about scoring, that’s a somewhat concerning list. Neither of our high-priced reserves likely to see heavy minutes are known for offense. In fact, it’s the opposite; both Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston eschew “selfish” offense almost to a fault.
“Oh no, Duby, but WHERE will the bench points come from?!? We lost Nick Young and David West!”
What exactly looks irreplaceable in there?
Riding the season bomb
The Warriors aren’t going out to set the regular season record for wins. As they learned earlier, there’s just no need to over-emphasize regular season perfection. Obviously, they don’t want it all to slip too far - but let’s all head into the season with an attitude reflectant of Kerr’s message to just enjoy the journey.
We have a completely loaded roster and a veteran group playing for another historic place in the NBA record books. Don’t read too much into the preseason’s losses - hell don’t even read too much into regular season losses either. As Kerr said during media day, we are laying with house money at this point:
“We’re going to have some bumps in the road and it’s not going to be easy...Our place in the history of the league is pretty secure. I don’t think our guys should feel a ton of pressure. They should feel the importance of trying to do it again because this may be the last time we have this current iteration of the Warriors, given all the free agents and money crunch and everything else.”
All-Stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both become free agents after this season.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Kerr said, “so why not just go all out and enjoy every step of the way.”
The regular season kicks off on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s ride this last season at Oracle out with an unmitigated joy and embrace the vicissitudes of the season rather than fret about if the 14th man on the roster can hit threes.