The Golden State Warriors squeaked out a 117-113 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. All wins are equal in the standings, so the Warriors will take it, even if it wasn’t a very strong performance (unless your name is Draymond Green or Steph Curry).
It seems like the Dubs have lost most of their sloppy games this year, so it was nice to see them not play their best but still walk away with a W. But make no mistake: they did not play their best.
With that in mind , let’s see how they did with their pregame keys to victory from my preview.
The key: Disciplined first quarter — the Dubs are the better team, so just handle business.
The outcome: Here’s what I tweeted after the first frame:
Well, not an ideal first quarter. Horrendous defense.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 26, 2021
The Warriors trailed 39-32 after 12 minutes, and the defense was truly atrocious. The offense was almost able to keep pace, but truthfully it was in large part because Steph Curry was bailing them out with shots like this:
Steph... this isn't even fair pic.twitter.com/dY9a2kdwJi— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 26, 2021
The team was sloppy, passive, and the very definition of undisciplined.
Grading the key: 2.5 out of 10.
The key: Get out and run, especially when Hassan Whiteside is on the court.
The outcome: Whiteside did not play, as Richaun Holmes — who was listed as questionable — returned to the starting lineup. Holmes, and to a lesser extent former-Warrior Damian Jones, are not quite as flat-footed and vulnerable as Whiteside, so this key wasn’t as important as I initially thought.
Still, the Warriors did get out and run a fair bit, cashing in on 20 fast break points. Getting a few easy buckets helped stabilize the offense.
Grading the key: 7.5 out of 10.
The key: Strong games from Jordan Poole and Kelly Oubre Jr.
The outcome: There are definitely nits to pick with Poole and Oubre’s games, most notably their inefficiency scoring. But even so, both players had key moments.
Oubre can battle Juan Toscano-Anderson for the title of best Warrior not named Draymond or Steph on Sunday, as he finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds. His high-energy play off the bench breathed life into the Warriors when they were starting to look lifeless, and had a few key plays down the stretch.
Poole was less statistically strong, but did have 5 rebounds and a few big moments.
It wasn’t a bench game to write down and revisit as the years go by, but it wasn’t awful, either.
Grading the key: 5.5 out of 10.