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Warrior Wonder: taking that first bite out of a turd sandwich

An ugly ending doesn’t mean we can skip handing out accolades. Pull up a chair and sink your teeth into this stinker.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson blew it late, but all were instrumental in getting us to the point where we had a lead to lose in the first place. Still, bad execution, potentially lame rotation decisions, and a seeming lack of decent plays out of timeouts all fed into this loss. There was so much wrong with the end of the game, it’s hard to know where to point fingers. In other words, this game was a gigantic turd sandwich, so let’s dig in to this stinker and hand out some awards!

While the end result was less than ideal, there was actually a lot to like about last night’s close loss to the Houston Rockets in overtime. Sure, there were some poor decisions made late in the game - including chucking a bunch of early shot clock threes in spite of holding a substantial lead - but for the first time in a while, we’ve got an honest to goodness contest for today’s Warrior Wonder.

Here are my entries, in order of consideration:

Klay Thompson

26 points (11/20 FGs 4/8 three pointers), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals, 2 blocks

There was a play in the second half where Thompson gathered up a loose ball, stumbled out of the pack, and then beat a couple of defenders off the dribble to convert a layup at the other end. I was watching this game with Nate Parham and the GoldBlooded King and we all looked at each other. “Rookie Klay doesn’t make that shot.” “Hell, rookie Klay doesn’t even make it out of that first scrum!”

While we’ve focused a lot on his shooting woes, we’ve all overlooked some very real improvements in Thompson’s floor game. Another efficient scoring night too - maybe it’s time for that Splash Brother slump to get put in the past like a pony tail?

Wonderful

Stephen Curry

35 points (14/27 FGs; 5/15 three pointers; and 2/3 FTs) 3 rebounds 6 assists 5 turnovers

I’m not totally sold on the new rotation (I’ve got an entire article coming out on that so let’s gloss over it for now), but the entire second half of that Rockets game is the counterpoint to the argument some fans are making for more pick and roll or isolation ball. Left to fend for themselves, the Dubs lost the “iso off” to James Harden.

Still, as far as turd sandwiches go, Curry’s game is about as palatable as the other two. Those turnovers aren’t great, and five of fifteen from deep is gross; but regardless, it was Curry who helped fuel that big push at the end of the first half.

Kevin Durant

26 points (1/5 three pointers; 5/5 FTs), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks

Durant is probably the turdiest sandwich of the night. Some of those plays at the end of regulation were head-scratching, and his iso-centric ways really do seem to gum up the offense sometimes. Still, when the Warriors’ ball movement and motion-based offense get stymied, it is Durant that bails us out - more often than not. Last night, we came up short and Durant may have cost us dearly with his late game execution, but he is still a tough player to guard on offense, and a rim-deterrent and pest on defense. Overall, it was a decent game for him, just a touch below his normally high standards of excellence.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Rockets?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Klay Thompson
    (113 votes)
  • 26%
    Stephen Curry
    (54 votes)
  • 6%
    Kevin Durant
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    other (answer in the comments)
    (20 votes)
201 votes total Vote Now

Golden Sidekick - Kevon Looney

I feel like we’ve been giving short shrift to Kevon Looney. When the Warriors took a flier on him in the draft nobody really knew what we were going to get. Fortunately, this “tweener” has found his place in the rotation by leveraging his high basketball intelligence into a smooth “swiss army knife” game.

Looney’s flexibility allows him to defend the rim, chase players like Harden around on the perimeter, and even run fast breaks to dunk on any unfortunate fools in his way. He ended the night with 12 points on just nine attempts, to go along with seven rebounds (five of which were on the offensive glass), a steal, and a block.

Not bad for a guy thrust into a starting role - and at a position that may not be his best fit. Wonderful!

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