The Golden State Warriors have repeatedly expressed how the offseason’s roster turnover begets plenty of teaching opportunities for the Dubs. Last night’s 104-98 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers in Staples Center provided several educational moments.
With an assortment of stars out for both teams, this game quickly turned into a Pro Basketball 101 class for the Warriors’ youth movement. Here’s three areas I’m sure the coaching staff will be looking to shore up as the games roll on.
Offense familiarity issues
That two-man PnR action has been one of the staples of basketball offenses going back to the Cretaceous period. It’s a simple dance with multiple possibilities, but it requires a familiarity and rhythm to operate cleanly.
Last night, we saw the Warriors searching to find that groove in several scenarios, with some ugly results.
On one occasion Steph Curry got trapped on the wing after a Marquese Chriss pick, and looked for big man to use his athleticism to cut to the paint for an outlet pass. Curry instinctively passed to where Chriss should have rolled, except Chriss popped out to the three-point as if he was Kristaps Porzingis. Instant turnover fueling a Lakers fast break.
Then there was Jordan Poole’s miscommunication with Chriss on the PnR leading to Dwight Howard getting an easy steal and jam.
This is the kind of thing the preseason is great for, because it allows the guards and bigs to get accustomed to defensive pressure and the ways to defeat it. But in real time, it makes for a rough viewing for any Dub Nation members. The Dubs had 22 assists and 21 turnovers; not the best ratio.
But there were some flashes of that preternatural ball movement that has made the Warriors the most terrifying offense in NBA history.
This pass AND screen from Chriss makes me think there’s no way the Dubs don’t give him a roster spot.
Perimeter defense issues
The young Warriors had an up-and-down night guarding ball penetration. They forced 28 turnovers, but also gave up plenty of forays to the paint which resulted in easy layups or free throws (the Lakers shot 30-of-39 from the charity stripe).
And don’t get me started on what they allowed L.A. rookie Zachary Norvell to do to them.
Here’s LeBron’s impression of Jordan Poole pic.twitter.com/IJN0a4trC6— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) October 15, 2019
Rotations and proper positioning will come in time as the players get more familiar with each other and the defensive system. In the meantime, hopefully we have ankle insurance.
Golden States’ 9-for-36 shooting from beyond the arc basically killed any chance of them taking this game.
It got to a point where I started actually getting surprised when the Warriors would drill one from long range. Jordan Poole showed heavy amounts of confidence, as he kept letting them rip besides a 3-of-14 night (2-of-9 from downtown). I loved the fact that he’s undaunted by misses; shooters shoot.
Overall, it was a good run for the youngsters, and it’s better to learn these lessons now to be better prepared for the grind of the regular season, and ultimately the crucible of the playoffs.