The Golden State Warriors — and their superstar Steph Curry in particular — look ready for the regular season. The good news is they don’t have to wait long, with Tuesday bringing the Dubs to Southern California, where they’ll face off against the Los Angeles Lakers on the first day of the 2021-22 NBA season.
The Warriors ended their preseason in style, capping a perfect 5-0 slate with a 119-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. And while it was a total team effort, it was also a case of Curry flexing his dual MVP muscles.
Golden State struggled early, as the offense could find neither rhythm nor the bottom of the hoop. The result was just 17 points in the first quarter, and a 10-point deficit after the initial frame.
Then came the second quarter, and with it, Curry. Playing relatively normal minutes to simulate a real game, Curry returned from the bench halfway through the second. Six seconds later, he bombed in a deep three, and it was on.
Curry ended the half on a flurry, with 15 points in the quarter, as the Dubs took to the halftime locker room with a four-point lead.
And Curry picked up where he left off after the break, with a 20-point third quarter before watching the final frame of the blowout from the sideline.
The final damage? 41 points on 13-for-23 shooting, 7-for-14 shooting from deep, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
OH HE ON X GAMES MODE pic.twitter.com/FciIpVb7XR— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 16, 2021
He’s ready, and so is the team.
Because that team was pretty darned good as well. The ball movement was once again on point, punctuating a preseason where the offense looks dramatically improved. The 22 turnovers were a touch worrisome, but 31 assists on 45 made buckets is a thing of beauty, as is 46 attempts from deep.
Nemanja Bjelica and Andre Iguodala again impressed with their playmaking skills, pushing the ball up the court, finding cutters, and making sure that stagnancy was avoided. Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double, and Jordan Poole overcame a slow start to finish with 16 points.
Damion Lee again proved that he can help do a part in killing the Klay Thompson-sized hole on the roster, but perhaps the most important bench note came in the form of Steve Kerr trusting Moses Moody. With rotations that were meant to simulate a game, Kerr got Moody in often, and the rookie finished with 18 minutes played. He did well in those minutes too, with 9 points and 6 rebounds, and looked decently comfortable. He just might be in the rotation early this year.
We’ll find out on Tuesday. Until then, enjoy a perfect preseason.