At long, long last, Golden State Warriors basketball is back.
There’s really not much you can read into in preseason games. They’re a little wonky, and neither the team, nor the player performances are very predictive for what’s to transpire in the coming season.
Still, if you are looking to read into things, I’d direct you towards the Warriors first-half offense, which put up 71 points, with a whopping 24 assists to only 6 turnovers. Now, if only they could do that with 10 or more turnovers, we could say the team is in midseason form!
While preseason affairs are normally highlighted by sloppiness and half-hearted play, this game was a ton of fun. Both the Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves brought their A-games to start, and the first quarter was an offensive flurry, complete with Kevin Durant highlights and a quartet of Steph Curry three-balls. It was the Warriors basketball we truly love.
Ball movement in midseason form pic.twitter.com/fd6Wvtgw8E— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) September 30, 2018
The second quarter brought more of the same, and some fun, lengthy bench units started to put the defensive clamps on the Wolves.
In the second half, things started to fall apart for the Warriors offense, but that’s what happens when your four stars only play 20 minutes. The Warriors shifted to the back of the bench, including the players on non-guaranteed contracts, and while they showed a lot of good signs, it’s no surprise that the 71-point first half wasn’t repeated.
But it was those minutes that were most important. With two open roster spots, one open two-way contract, and Patrick McCaw nowhere to be seen, the Warriors surely are watching Kendrick Nunn, Marcus Derrickson, Tyler Ulis, and the other camp invites closely. And they often played well. Even more encouraging was rookie Jacob Evans III, who looked smooth and comfortable on both ends of the court after a rocky showing at Summer League.
Jacob Evans! pic.twitter.com/ytrvd8znez— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) September 30, 2018
That may be what matters most to the Warriors brass, but for the fans, it was those minutes with Curry (21 points, 7-11 shooting, 5-9 on threes), Durant (16 points, 6-9 shooting), Klay Thompson (17 points, 3-4 from deep), and Draymond Green (8 assists) that were worth celebrating. Warriors basketball is back,and for many minutes on Saturday night, it was on full display.
Ultimately, the Dubs squandered the lead, and Minnesota’s reserves fought their way to a 114-110 victory.
But Warriors basketball is thankfully, emphatically back.