Warriors Opening Night Reactions

The Warriors were up 103-102 with 28.5 seconds left against one of the best teams in the Western Conference before they lost 108-103. Unfortunately, it was mostly a mirage, a performance propped up by the emotions of the home opener and physical freshness of the early season.

The Warriors own one of the better home court advantages in the NBA. The crowd is basketball savvy and knows how and when to feed the team its energy. They also know what's going on with the team. In the pregame introductions AL Harrington received a fair amount of boos because of his recent public trade request/demand. On the flip side, Andris Biedrins may have heard the most cheers.

The "DeMarcus Nelson is our starting point guard" experiment didn't last very long. StackJack was defending CP3 and Nelson was guarding Peja and the Hornets immediately started attacking the mismatch. Peja hit two buckets in a row for the Hornets with Nelson on him in the first 3 minutes and Nelson(coach) removed Nelson(PG) 4:30 into the game, bringing in Azubuike.

Byron Scott inexplicably starts resting CP3 five minutes into the game and he won't comeback into the came until the second quarter. This keys the Warriors 21-9 run with CP3 on the bench and a seven point lead heading into the second. Everything goes well when the W's hit their 3's.

Andris looks really good in the first quarter and a half with eight boards and some nice offensive scoring. It's his first game, but I think Turiaf will be looked at as the best offseason signing. He won't pass the franchise leader in blocks, but he reminds me of a "good" Adonal Foyle. An energy guy who makes a difference on the defensive end, but offers more than Foyle on the offensive side. Most importantly, Turiaf is being paid the correct amount of money for his services, unlike Foyle. Are they still paying Foyle?

The problem that is already beginning to present itself is, offensively, the only Warrior that can create his own shot is Stack Jack and maybe Maggette. Plus, both of them will be playing nearly every minute. StackJack played all 48 and Maggette would have played more if he hadn't gotten in foul trouble. As the W's start to tire, the Hornets go on a 12-4 run to close the half. At the half, StackJack was more selective with his shooting, putting up nine and had zero turnovers running the point most of the time.

The starting five is back on the court after the half and DeMarcus Nelson thinks he's supposed to score. No! Nelson(coach) is known as a mathcup master, but Byron Scott is doing his own matchup exploitation. Scott gets CP3 matched up with Andris a couple times and puts Biedrins up to four fouls early in the third. Azubuike(Buke from now on) is playing really well, kind of like a young Matt Barnes, where there's still hope for improvement and not huge brain farts. Buke needs to work on his jumper more as he missed a couple, but his driving and low post scoring looks great.

Rebounding looks to be a problem again this season. Turiaf should help, but it's mostly going to be Andris and Turiaf getting boards and nobody else. David West is good and his good shooting is rubbing off on Rasual Butler. Who? Exactly. After two bad, tired shots the W's are on the brink of having the door slammed on a win, but Andris gets a board and draws a foul putting the W's in the bonus with seven minutes to play. It's a nice change to see the W's get into the bonus with so much time left, but Andris misses both FTs, but Al gets the rebound! Al gets blocked then Andris picks up his fifth personal. D'oh!

I'd like to see Andris stay out of foul trouble more this season. He's a real contributor when he's on the floor. When you look at his minutes played, at first it doesn't make sense, why he isn't playing more, but he gets in foul trouble too much. Hopefully, playing with Turiaf will ween him off of trying to defend everybody around the hoop.

StackJack has played every minute, is the main offense and has to guard CP3. Jim Barnett mentions that SJ's last brick was a "tired" shot, and we'll probably see a lot of those this season. Two possession after Barnett's comment, StackJack launches a 3 with 18 left on the 24-sec clock and no W's underneath. That is the shot StackJack has to get away from. I know it's part of his game, but he has feel the situation. The shot came after a W's basket followed by a defensive stop and the crowd was getting amp'd and then after the fast brick the crowd was quieted.

The bonus is not helping the W's. Andris goes 0 for 2, again, followed by Al going 1 for 2. The W's are drawing fouls, playing D and getting stops, but can't sink their FTs.

For some reason DeMarcus Nelson is in the game with the W's down one with 19.4 seconds to play and he nearly threw the ball away. It doesn't matter because the W's turn the ball over on the inbound and NO goes up by three. Al gets an open look at a triple, but clanks it, game over. AL is 5-17 for the game. That's not a good way to up your trade value. Al is good when he shoots less, but that's not what he thinks.

If it's painfully obvious the W's need a real point guard after the first game of the season, I can only imagine what it's going to look like in a month or two. There is some hope, Turiaf, Buke, Andris, Maggette drawing fouls, and StackJack's overall good play, but the W's need a PG. If CP3 played more in the first half, this game isn't even close. It could have been ugly, I'm afraid to see what the W's road record will look like this year. There is some small hope to be gleaned, but with no PG, it's going to be a long season, especially for Captain Jack.

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  1. Donald Says:

    and you say no one reads your blog. . . it may even be bookmarked!