The first week of the 2018-19 NBA season is officially in the books. It’s safe to say it was a very exciting and interesting first week, filled with buzzer-beaters, fights, offensive explosions, and numerous highlights.
For the Golden State Warriors, it was a decently successful first week, as they cranked out two wins and a close loss. Let’s look back on what the Warriors hope is the first week of the next championship campaign.
Performance this week
Offensive rating: 18th (107.5)
Defensive rating: 8th (104.5)
Net rating: 9th (3.0)
Year to date
Road record: 1-1
Home record: 1-0
Western conference standings: 4th
Game #1: Golden State Warriors 108, Oklahoma City Thunder 100
In the season opener, the Warriors received some gaudy championship rings, and then Steph Curry went to work. It wasn’t a pretty victory over a Thunder team missing Russell Westbrook, but for the first time since 2015, the Dubs started the year with a win.
Top performer: Steph Curry - 32 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 11-20 FG, 5-9 3FG
Game #2: Golden State Warriors 124, Utah Jazz 123
In a potential playoff preview, the Warriors met a game Jazz team in Salt Lake City. Utah exploded for 81 first-half points, and held a 16-point lead in the third quarter. But the Warriors mounted a comeback and, thanks to a revengeful buzzer-beating tip-in by Jonas Jerebko, pulled out the victory.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 38 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 14-25 FG, 9-9 FT
Game #3: Denver Nuggets 100, Golden State Warriors 98
It looked like the Warriors let the altitude get to them in the Mile High City. Golden State looked lethargic, and no one played well, save for Steph Curry. The Warriors nearly pulled out the win on the road, but only because Denver missed 18 free throws.
Top performer: Steph Curry - 30 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 10-23 FG, 6-16 3FG
The week’s big stories
Golden State is cold, and Klay is ice cold
The Warriors are supposed to be one of the best shooting teams in the world, but that didn’t show up in the first week. Steph Curry held up to his end of the bargain, by dropping in 16 of 34 attempts.
But beyond Curry, the team couldn’t make a three to save their souls. They shot just 8-40. Klay Thompson, who seemingly couldn’t miss from beyond the arc in preseason, was the biggest offender, going 2-16.
The (minor) injury bug is biting
Only three games in, the Warriors are already fighting the injury bug. Andre Iguodala exited opening night with calf tightness, and missed Friday’s game. Shaun Livingston didn’t play Sunday due to a knee contusion. Draymond Green played all three games, but looked a little slowed after missing much of training camp due to a knee injury.
They’re all minor injuries, thankfully. But the Warriors are only carrying 14 players on their roster, and one of those is the indefinitely-out DeMarcus Cousins, so they don’t have a lot of wiggle room.
Damian Jones looks to be the starting center
During training camp, Steve Kerr wouldn’t commit to Damian Jones starting beyond opening night. But Jones started the whole week, and played well while going up against Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, and Nikola Jokic - no easy task.
Jones played solid defense and did a good job continuing to develop rapport with the Warriors playmakers, and rolling hard to the rim. Kevon Looney also played well (probably better than Jones), but it was clear based on rotations that Kerr prefers him coming off the bench, where he can be a 4 or a 5. And while Jordan Bell may be a star one day, he’s barely getting any minutes now.
It looks like Jones will be the starting center for a while.