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Suns stun Warriors in Chase Center on Opening Night
This is how the CP3 era kicks off???
After watching a fourth quarter lead evaporate to a relentless Phoenix Suns effort 108-104 in front of Dub Nation in Chase Center, there’s only one takeaway worth having: The Golden State Warriors franchise has never won a single regular season game with Chris Paul on the team.
Ehhh perhaps that’s a bit ridiculous (small sample size alert). Pardon me for automatically assuming the Warriors would go 82-0 with the addition of the future hall-of-famer.
Okay here’s another takeaway: the Warriors absolutely need their enforcer and quarterback Draymond Green to take down high quality opponents like the Phoenix Suns, a team boasting Olympians Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal (who didn’t even play last night!).
But even in Green’s absence the Warriors still held Phoenix to a rough shooting from the field.
OK BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS TAKEAWAY: Young lions Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga may deserve to siphon some playing away from vets like Andrew Wiggins?
Let’s talk about it.
Chris Paul’s debut with the Golden Empire
CP3 has worked extremely hard to fit in so far with the Dubs. He’s mentoring their younger players, spending extra time after practice with Stephen Curry to find optimum meshing levels, and even blessed the folks at San Quentin prison with his heartfelt presence.
That’s why I’m assuming he shot intentionally 4/15 from the field in his first game as a Dub, in honor of San Francisco’s 415 area code.
CP3 wasn’t the only Warrior who couldn’t buy a bucket (more on that later) but he impacted other areas of the game positively. He dished out 9 assists and snagged 6 rebounds, while adding 2 steals and only 1 turnover. He also revealed to Dub Nation that he has absolutely brought his phenomenal
foul grifting high basketball IQ to the team. Finally, the Warriors get someone to get the refs on Golden State’s side for once!
Durant and Booker got a lot of attention
This was Kevin Durant’s first game in front of fans back in Chase Center after helping the Warriors destroy Cleveland, Houston, Portland, Utah, and Oklahoma City forever.
The Warriors made life tough for the Slim Reaper though, limiting him to 7-of-22 shooting from the field. In fact, Golden State’s defense was pretty solid overall, shackling Phoenix to 44% shooting from the field (33% from beyond the arc).
But if Devin Booker keeps cooking the Warriors like this then I’m sure he’ll get his own tribute video soon enough. He lit the Dubs up for 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting, a buzzsaw winding around screens and through traffic to make the Warriors pay for any blip of open space. Even still, Golden State forced him to six turnovers.
And that’s where in a game like this the Warriors need their Splash Bros to splash back. Instead Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 14-of-38 from the field, 7-of-25 from beyond the arc. If those guys spent their careers shooting like that, the dynasty would never been formed. The Dubs finished the game shooting 35% from the field, going an ice cold 10-of-43 from beyond the arc:
Andrew Wiggins struggled as young guns ball
As you all know, Dr. Tom and I discovered and colonized Wiggins Island many moons ago, leading it’s development from forgotten badlands into a All-Star level resort with efficient amenities and a maximum security prison for those who come to disrespect the Golden Empire.
But last night, eyebrows were raised by his boxscore as he struggled to 4-of-12 shooting from the field with only a single rebound in 27 minutes of play.
Now I know he was a primary defender on Durant (KD was 2-of-5 from the field with Wiggins on him) and Booker (3-of-4 from the field with a turnover with Wiggins defending).
But as an All-Star, there is a burden upon Wiggins to impact the game in a variety of ways. Warriors Coach Steve Kerr replacing Wiggins down the stretch with Kuminga gave us a clue into both how tough a game Wiggs was having and also Kerr’s newfound confidence in JK.
And isn’t that what Dub Nation was begging for Kuminga and his fellow young hooper Moody to earn from his coach: confidence? Both of those guys played well as reserves last night (although Kuminga blew two huge free throws at the end of the game).
Kuminga had 12 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes and even blocked the legendary KD! Moody had 11 points and 3 steals while knocking down two triples. He was playing with a high level of competitive energy, throwing his weight around and making his presence felt.
I believe Wiggins is absolutely the superior player to those two young fellas, but it’s great that Kerr has the opportunity to toggle between those guys when he needs a different look.
Here’s the biggest takeaway: it’s just the first game of a season that spans several months. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn!
Before I get outta here I wanna give a big shout out to the DNHQ community for your exciting activity as we kick the season off.
Our preseason comment sections on game day were popping, but now we really cranked it up on Opening Night. We are the heartbeat of the Warriors’ fanatic section, and it’s epic watching us sharing our observations, wishes, rage, and jokes from all corners of the globe.
What we have built here spans years, nay decades in it’s foundation and impact. From the smoky upper bowl sections of the 200 clubs in Oracle, to Golden State of Mind, to Lets Go Warriors, to the impenetrable, impregnable fortress of fandom that is the HQ.
I look forward to watching this group continuing to expand in this fresh new season, and eventually if I give the siren call I expect you to join me on
raiding expeditions on enemy blogs goodwill expansion and networking on other team sites.