The NBA is officially back! It kicked off the 2016-17 season with a Tuesday night triple-header featuring the Cavaliers/Knicks, Trail Blazers/Jazz, and Warriors/Spurs, with the last one being the highlight.
Since Golden State added one of the NBA’s top three players, predictions of the Dubs going 74-8 haven’t been scarce, but the Bay Area superteam got off to a rough start against San Antonio.
The game was close in the middle quarters, but the Warriors’ slow start and a piddling rebounding margin of -20 is a recipe for disaster, and the final was a massive 29-point defeat, 129-100.
Stephen Curry did his thing with 26 points but wasn’t his usual self and finished just 3/10 from long range. Kevin Durant, the most anticipated debut in recent memory, led Golden State with 27 on 11/18.
Following the game, reporters asked Durant about the profound beatdown.
“It’s a slap in the face. Woke us up a bit,” said KD according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post.
Maybe they got a bit dull during the preseason after making a myriad of tantalizing plays, but this Spurs team is no slouch, even without Tim Duncan. Kawhi Leonard is still around, and he went for a career-high 35 points with five steals during the contest.
It’s just one game, so let’s not jump to conclusions so quick. Things need to get worked on, that’s evident, and the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. Golden State didn’t look bad by any means offensively; their shots simply didn’t fall. Klay Thompson had the most noticeable struggle, and the Splash Brother finished with 11 points on 5/13 shooting in 33 minutes.
Adding to that was their atrocious perimeter defense. The Spurs managed to sink 12 of their 24 threes, and Golden State was unable to snag a rebound on their misses. Not only did the Dubs surrender 55 total rebounds, but 21 of them came on the offensive glass, and there was no holding back Aldridge, who hauled in eight by himself.
As the year progresses, the Warriors’ defense will improve, but it’s also the one area that worries experts more than anything else.
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