They only needed 20 minutes.
Stephen Curry threw a splash party, hitting four consecutive threes on his way to a game high 21 points. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant chipped in with 17 and 16 points respectively in limited action, while Draymond Green’s eight assists set the tempo.
This is what head coach Steve Kerr wanted from the Golden State Warriors in the preseason opener. It didn’t matter much that the effort was wasted on a 114-110 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night at Oracle. What matters is that the effort to establish good habits going into the regular season was there in the first place.
Ball movement is the cornerstone in the Warriors’ offense, and it was very prevalent in the first half. They dished 24 assists in the first half and ended the game with 33 assists on 44 field goals. Constant movement and rhythm is the reason why the ‘Dubs shot 56 percent from the field and turned a nine point deficit into a 71-65 halftime lead.
Center of Attention
I understand why Kerr wanted to start Damian Jones at the five. He hasn’t logged many minutes and he wanted to see what Jones had to offer to the rotation. However, the third year center from Vanderbilt didn't offer much during the game. He struggled on defense and wasn’t efficient and uncomfortable on offense.
Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell were more comfortable and consistent. It appeared that both bigs added a jumper during the offseason.
Both Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell drained their first two jumpers, both from 16 feet. If that's what's in store . . .— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) September 30, 2018
If their jumpers are consistent, it gives the Warriors three bigs who can score. It’s not enough that the offense flows through the post in order to get the guards open — opposing defenses would also have to account for not only the perimeter but the post as well.
The Confidence of the New Guys
Rookie wing Jacob Evans made his Warriors debut midway through the third quarter, and missed his first three shots. Yet Evans continued to stick with his shot and splashed a couple of threes late in the game. However, that same confidence and resulted didn't permeate through the rest of the bench.
Jacob Evans on not being discouraged after missing his first three shots pic.twitter.com/f5lcaSqHQK— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 30, 2018
Jonas Jerebko seemed tentative to shoot and ended up missing all three of his attempts. The unit of Jerebiko, Evans, Looney and Kendrick Nunn shot a combined 1-12 from the field, while the Wolves shot 6-for-10 during the final stretches. While the unit didn’t shoot well, they must keep the same aggression throughout the preseason.