What Did We Learn About the New-Look Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors fell Saturday night to 12-41 on the season following a narrow 120-125 loss at the Chase Center to the Los Angeles Lakers. This loss means that the Warriors will not finish the season with a record above .500 for the first time in five consecutive years. The team still has plenty of positives that they can take from a game which saw four players make their Warriors debuts.
With Andrew Wiggins, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Zach Norvell Jr. and Jeremy Pargo all made their first appearances in a Warriors uniform in the game. All eyes were undoubtedly on Wiggins. The Kansas-product was recently traded to Golden State from Minnesota in exchange for All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell.
In a game which many thought the Lakers would have run away with things, the Warriors certainly had their say in the matter. Fresh off signing a new extension with the Dubs, Marquese Chriss led the way with 26 points on 12-for-15 from the field. Chriss also had a team-high nine rebounds.
Another player fresh off a new deal was guard Ky Bowman, who pulled the strings excellently in the backcourt - Ky finished with a team and career-high 11 assists. The link-up between Bowman and Chriss was beautiful to watch; this was one of the biggest takeaways from the defeat.
Someone who also impressed was Jordan Poole, the 28th overall pick from the 2019 NBA draft. Poole too had himself a career night, bagging 19 points. His eight made field goals ties a career-best, and he did so with only 12 shots on the night.
Andrew Wiggins, the star of the show for the Dubs, had himself a perfectly solid game. The former first-overall draft pick in 2014 finished the night with 24 points (8-12 FG, 3-4 3FG, 5-9 FT), two rebounds, three assists, a season-high five steals and one block. This was also the most points scored by a debutant since Kevin Durant dropped 27 points on the San Antonio Spurs in 2016.
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson still on the sideline, a glimmer of hope is a nice update for a 12-41 Warriors team. Perhaps the best highlight of the night came via the two-way player Alen Smailagić, who finished the game with a career-high 10 points from the bench. This dunk attempt had the Chase Center smiling, and the Warriors bench, including Steph, were in stitches:
Based on what we saw against the Lakers, this Warriors team may be young and somewhat inexperienced playing together as a unit, it has to be said, from a game which was supposed to be an away team blow-out, we have been left with plenty of positives to take as we move forward. This team might not win as many games as both they and us would like, but should the form continue as it did last night moving forward, it’s going to be fun to watch at least.
Chriss, Bowman, Poole and Wiggins were all a joy to watch last night with the pick of the bunch being Chriss, who looks like he could be one to watch keenly over the course of the final 29 games this season along with Bowman.
With just under four weeks until another update is due on the status of Stephen Curry’s fractured left hand, Dubs fans were treated to a bonus take-away from the game via Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers.
During the telecast, Myers was interviewed by ABC’s Lisa Salters. Myers told Salters that he thinks there’s a chance that Klay Thompson could also return before the season is out.
"I think there's a chance (he comes back before the end of the year),” Myers said.”We're going to have an update probably around All-Star break. But like Steph, if they're healthy and they're cleared, they'll play. But if they're not, obviously we're not going to play them.”