OAKLAND – Zaza Pachulia saw the incriminating video, all of it. David West watched it, too, and saw the same thing.
JaVale McGee also took a look and, if nothing else, glimpsed that his brief appearance included a spectacular lowlight.
The Warriors on opening night stepped onto their home court and were assaulted by the Spurs. Most of the offensive punishment was inflicted upon the big men, from Pachulia to backups Anderson Varejao, West and McGee.
The Spurs exposed the center position, once occupied by a barrier that was Andrew Bogut, as a defensive weakness for the Warriors. The Warriors didn’t rebound and it was open season in the paint and on the pick-and-roll.
The issues that surfaced in a 129-100 demolition were impossible to miss on video.
“The tape doesn’t lie,” coach Steve Kerr said.
“There were too many moments when we either weren’t communicating or were miscommunicating,” West said.
“The small details are the difference,” Pachulia said.
That defensive strategist Ron Adams neither sulked nor grumbled – both of which he is very capable of doing – suggests he also believes this area won’t be a source of game-to-game vulnerability over the course of the season.
“Ron was good,” Kerr said. “He was pragmatic and focused on the areas we can fix.”
The biggest problem has to do with unfamiliarity. Nearly half the roster has been turned over, and the four longest bodies – Kevin Durant, McGee, Pachulia and West – are new to the Warriors. Each looked lost at times Tuesday night.
“When you’ve got a group that’s used to playing a certain way, and now we’re trying to figure out new bodies and new people and new tendencies, it’s not going to happen overnight,” West said. “We recognize that.”
That’s the prevailing opinion of the Warriors on the day after they were taken apart by one of the few teams with the goods to do so, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard doing most of the damage.
While the Warriors are convinced the right pieces are in place but not always sure of where they fit, they conceded it might be a while before it meshes to the satisfaction of all.
“Our communication was poor, and it’s something we worked on in practice,” Kerr said. “And it’s going to come. This team the last two years has basically been ready to roll. When I came in as coach, I inherited the team that finished fourth defensively the year before. So we already had a great defense, from Day 1, and we ended up first in defense that year.
“We have a new defense now. It’s different personnel. And we’re going to have to grow with that.”