Warriors

Instant Analysis: Warriors out of sync in preseason loss to Nuggets

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Warriors out of sync in preseason loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors made their preseason debut Saturday and looked very much like a team searching for rhythm than trying to win a game.

Their 108-102 loss to the Nuggets at Oracle Arena featured 41.5-percent shooting, 12.1 percent beyond the arc, and only 18 assists -- all numbers sure to rise when the games begin to matter.

Stephen Curry scored a team-high 11 points, with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant adding 10 apiece.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr played all 18 available players, with each man on the roster getting into the scoring column. Curry and Durant led the team in minutes played, each with 24.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

David West: The veteran big man played only seven minutes, but was active at both ends. Finished with 6 points, two rebounds and one assist. He was plus-8 for the game.

Rookie forward Jordan Bell didn’t enter until midway through the third quarter but quickly made his presence felt, with 4 points, a block and two baskets in his first 91 seconds of action.

NOTES: The Warriors won the rebounding battle, snagging 53 to Denver’s 48.. . . The Warriors’ first 3-pointer came when Nick Young buried a triple with 10:49 left in the second quarter.. . . Curry was 1-of-7 from deep, with Draymond Green and Durant each going 0-for-5.. . . Forward Paul Millsap, Denver’s big offseason acquisition, totaled 22 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Nuggets: G Jameer Nelson (L toe sprain) was listed as out.

Warriors: F Omri Casspi (personal, Yom Kippur) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors leave Sunday for China, where they will play preseason games against the Timberwolves on Oct. 4 in Shenzhen and Oct. 8 in Shanghai. They return to Oracle on Oct. 13 for the preseason finale against the Kings.

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

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AP

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, and continues immediately after the final buzzer.

The NBA offseason ended as it began – with someone burning money for our amusement.

The San Antonio Spurs re-upped center LaMarcus Aldridge, with whom head coach Gregg Popovich had an off-season hug-it-out to repair what seemed to be a fraying relationship.

Thus, after the Golden State Warriors boatraced the field, the NBA responded by firing out $1.942 billion in free agent signings. This proves yet again that the problem with rising salaries in sports is not the fault of the players, but of the owners.

And that contreacts and player movement are an increasingly powerful turn-on in a sport that is facing an existential crisis.

Namely, how to build suspense into a season that looks foreordained for the Warriors without hoping for catastrophic injuries. Indeed, as the Warriors open with Houston tonight, there is far more national buzz around the new-look Rockets than the seemingly invulnerable Warriors.

[SHILLER: Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim]

It’s a bit like the old comic book conundrum – why was Wolverine a more compelling character than Superman?

Now this may be our fault as consumers for wanting something new to support our pathetically small attention spans. Or more intriguingly, being drawn to the flawed unknown rather than the excellent known.

But changing the American character is not an easy thing to do, as our most recent political developments have shown. We are who we are, and while we will watch the superb team every time, we will be more interested in the one that looks like it could blow itself to bits at any moment (Houston, or Cleveland, or Oklahoma City), or the long-downtrodden failure that suddenly looks like it might no longer be so downtrodden (Philadelphia, Minnesota, or maybe even Philadelphia again).

Or, weirdest of all, the team that used to be the standard, fell off the edge of the planet to the nation’s glee, and is just now showing signs of reconstruction (the Los Angeles Lakers).

Evidently what we want to say is that we like is change – violent, bizarre change, the crazier the narrative the better.

But here, we have the Golden State Warriors, who have chosen a far more conservative path – winning four of every five games, no matter what month, no matter what opponent, and winning nine of every 10 at home, no matter what month, no matter what opponent. And the measured eyeballs of media ratings say the Warriors are the bait behind which all other teams draft.

In short, the Warriors are the establishment, and the field is the barbarians at the gate. It’s just a matter how you feel about the barbarians, and the gate.

I know how the voting here would go. The rest of you are on your own, watching money getting thrown around in hope of some kind of regime change before the end of the decade.

Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim

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AP

Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, and continues immediately after the final buzzer.

A couple weeks ago, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said something about the Warriors that made headlines.

"You're not gonna stop them. It's just not gonna happen. They're not gonna stop us either. Should be fun."

On Monday, Draymond Green was asked about D'Antoni's comments.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf," Draymond began, before giving his real thoughts. "Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense.

"We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense."

The Rockets made some significant changes to their roster this offseason, most notably the addition of Chris Paul.

But Houston also added defensive-minded guys in P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

But as Draymond pointed out:

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller