BLOGTABLE: Extremely early assessment of the Warriors?
NBA.com Global on Oct 18, 2018 07:30 AM
The Golden State Warriors celebrate after receiving their championship rings after an awards ceremony to recognize the team's NBA championship prior to a basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
What's your extremely early assessment of the Warriors after just one game?
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Steve Aschburner: Next year, it’s going to be secret decoder rings, right? And the secret code is going to read: “Oakland, we miss you.” Or something like that. This presumes another Warriors championship, which is one of my takeaways from Golden State’s opener Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). That team’s sense of purpose in its final season at Oracle Arena will be profound, because the NBA’s most savvy crowd even in lean times is going to change, somehow, some way, in the shiny new digs across the bay. My other takeaway from Game 1: the training staff could wind up as collective MVP of this squad. From Andre Iguodala’s and Shaun Livingston’s inevitable high-mileage issues and Draymond Green’s preseason knee soreness to unexpected hiccups that could slow Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson or others, the Warriors’ remarkable run of relatively good health is due for some regression to the NBA mean.
Tas Melas: They’re rejuvenated because some young players have replaced vets in the rotation (Damian Jones for Zaza Pachulia, Quinn Cook for Nick Young). The Warriors only have five players born in the 1980s after having nine to start last season. They're trying to keep that dynasty alive and are also a little fresher than last season (because they didn’t have to make a preseason trip to China).
Shaun Powell: Early assessment? That the Warriors would be wise to keep their lapses to a minimum. Barely getting by an OKC team without Russell Westbrook was a reflection of last season when the Warriors lost seven of their last 10 and didn't grab home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. But pretty soon, DeMarcus Cousins is coming, so what does it matter for the regular season?
John Schuhmann: There was certainly more to learn about the other three teams that played on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), and one game isn't going to tell us if the Warriors' (collective) foot will be on the gas more than it was last season, when fatigue and disinterest had them taking a step backward defensively. Ring night comes with an unusual vibe and the Thunder were without Russell Westbrook, taking some of the juice out of the matchup. Turnovers continue to be an issue, but the champs should feel pretty good about the ability of their young bigs to step into larger roles.
Sekou Smith: Nothing has changed. The Warriors are still the class of the league and don't look any worse for wear after piling up the best four-year win total in NBA history. Anyone picking against the reigning and two-time defending champs better be willing to explain their thinking in detail, because a healthy Warriors team looks as formidable on opening night as they did the last time we saw them (in The Finals). The most remarkable part about what the Warriors have done during this run is their continued shuffling of their big man rotation. The player-development component with the franchise is at another level. And the scariest thing is we haven't even seen what DeMarcus Cousins will look like on this team.