It only took the Golden State Warriors halfway through the first quarter of their preseason opener to accomplish what took them a few months a season ago: a smooth and high-functioning offense.
Thanks in large part to a pair of early threes from Jordan Poole — more on him in a moment — and the steady, controlling hand of Steph Curry, the Dubs poured in 18 points on the Portland Trail Blazers in a matter of moments.
Yes, it was just a preseason game, but seeing the offense function and flourish after finishing 20th in offensive rating a year ago is a welcome sight nonetheless.
From there, Poole dominated. We’re a long ways away from seeing if the exhilarating young guard can take another leap in his third year, but if Monday night was any indication, he could be destined for greatness this season. Poole needed just 22 minutes and 17 shots to pour in a game-high 30 points, shooting 7-for-13 from distance and adding 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks, with just a single turnover.
Poole was a key part of a third-quarter run that turned a halftime tie into a double-digit lead, with the Dubs outscoring the Blazers 40-25 in the third frame. From there, both teams handed things over to the very back of the bench, and Golden State cruised to a 121-107 win.
Curry didn’t have a dominant shooting performance, but looked fully in control all night, with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals in just 20 minutes of action.
Many of the offseason signings looked like they fit right in; Andre Iguodala and Nemanja Bjelica both struggled with their scoring efficiency, but each looked comfortable in the system, making the right reads and helping the ball find the right hands. Otto Porter Jr. confirmed that, if healthy, he could be one of the best signings in the league this year: in 18 minutes, Porter had 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, while shooting 4-for-7 from three-point range and providing his standard quality defense. Avery Bradley, on the other hand, struggled quite a bit and didn’t look fully comfortable, though he did record 3 steals.
Mychal Mulder shot 3-for-6 from deep range as he made a strong case for the 15th roster spot — especially with Bradley struggling and Gary Payton II not playing. And despite it being just a preseason game, Steve Kerr didn’t play rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody until the game was all but over; as a result, neither did much of note.
Wins and losses don’t matter much in the preseason, but winning is always fun. And when it comes with the offense looking like they’re already finding their footing, well ... all the better.