Warriors own Kings again on Curry's game winner to go 4-0 in preseason
NEVER DOUBT STEPHEN CURRY.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, your Golden State Warriors have done it AGAIN, rallying back from a huge deficit to stun the Sacramento Kings 116-115 in preseason action.
You know, it’s extremely early and that we aren’t even finished with the preseason yet. And despite Golden State’s shiny 4-0 record (beating division rivals and recent playoff opponents the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings twice apiece) ultimately GSW hasn’t even dipped their toes into serious basketball yet.
But the Warriors have a demonstrated a resilience, cohesion, and joyful demeanor in these first four exhibition contests that remind me of the championship runs.
The Golden Empire’s reign of terror over the NBA over the last decade has been marked by their ability to bounce back from deficits to hunt down their opponents in winning time.
Just ask Evan Turner, who recounted to a smirking Andre Iguodala and giddy Gilbert Arenas how a 15-point lead against a dominant Warriors team means absolutely nothing. It’s not how good you start off swimming in those deep waters of Splash, it’s how you finish against the icy, whirling currents that flip you upside down and choke out your will to win.
Annnd wouldn’t you know, this current iteration of the Dubs seems to be on that same hype. On Sunday the Kings led 15 points on their homecourt before being overtaken in overtime by a spirited Golden State comeback.
And then last night the young Kings went up 18 points (!), at times just flat out embarrassing the Warriors in front of Dub Nation in Chase Center. But in the fourth quarter Golden State ran off a 40-26 run that stunned the Kangz, starting with a stifling defensive effort. The Warriors limited the visitors to 8-of-20 shooting from the field, 1-of-7 from beyond the arc in that final frame.
Meanwhile the Dubs roared to a 15-of-21 (71%) shooting performance in the fourth quarter on 10 assists, nailing 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. Chris Paul dished four assists in the quarter while Curry went nuclear, scoring 16 points and hitting four triples including a devastating game winner.
That feeding frenzy in the fourth exemplified the plethora of interchangeable roster combinations that Golden State can experiment with this season around the dynamic core of Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney who combined were statistically the best starting lineup in the NBA last season.
The offseason acquisition of Paul was meant to stabilize those other lineups that sometimes fell apart last season. Last night, the legendary point guard CP3 came off of the bench under the direction of legendary head coach Steve Kerr:
Kerr gave insight into his decision to bring Paul off the bench pregame, sharing that he wanted to encourage the 12-time All-Star to be himself.
“I told him we need him to be himself," Kerr said. "He’s trying to fit in; sometimes we need him to take four mid-range jumpers in a row.”
On Wednesday, Paul checked in with 7:51 remaining in the first quarter and the Dubs were down by seven. The Warriors would subsequently go on a 10-2 run and the floor general was right in the middle of the action.
CP3 totaled 30 minutes as a reserve, scoring 13 points with three triples and 9 assists heheheh. Speaking of bench ballers, reserve big Dario Saric added 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. It’s clear that these two vets are bringing a special punch to the rotations so far, and a bit of quirky danger that forces defenses to account for the high-level IQ and playmaking these two possess.
Much was made last year of Coach Kerr’s puzzling yo-yo leash on the young players on the team like Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, and Moses Moody. He preferred to trust older players like Anthony Lamb and didn’t seem to show much consistent confidence in the youth movement.
In fact, young star guard Jordan Poole mentioned opportunity as one of the things he needed to have more of with the Warriors. The Dubs sometimes appeared carried themselves with a listless passive aggression, something Curry infamously rallied against in his “Don’t Get On The Bus” speech before Game 7 in Sacramento.
Now, we all know preseason is the exact time to throw young players out there to see what shakes out. But even with that in mind, what we saw last night from guys like third year lottery pick Kuminga and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis were extremely inspirational.
Kuminga committed 5 turnovers in 29 minutes of play, but perhaps he was only trying to be like Curry who had 5 of his own ;) lmao. Kuminga scored 18 points on 50% shooting and added 6 rebounds (DNHQ is officially on JK Rebound Watch). Kuminga also nailed 2-of-5 from deep, giving more and more indication that his ability to stretch the floor is no mirage.
And now a big shout out to TJD, who had a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double in 25 minutes as a starter. He’s a PRETTY GOOD roller in the pick-and-roll, with anticipatory feet and a strong awareness for where he can slip around defenders in tight spots.
He’s constantly setting up his defenders for failure, lulling them to sleep as he lurks around the paint. He’s not just standing there clogging driving lanes; he’s tiptoeing around on the margins where he can be a perfect escape valve for a quick pass, and that’s when he’s dunking on Domantas Sabonis’ head. Great signs so far for the 6-foot-9 23-year old from Indiana.
Did I mention his daddy is the great Dale Davis from those old 90’s Pacers teams??? #FathersMatter
THE YOUNG GUYS ARE HAVING FUN BABY!
The Warriors have one remaining game to prove that they’re the greatest preseason team of all time. They have the opportunity to go 5-0 in the tuneups for the regular seaosn, and to do it they’ll have to face this man…VICTOR SLAMBAMDAMNBRAH!