Two positives, two negatives from Warriors' season-opening win over Thunder

Two positives, two negatives from Warriors' season-opening win over Thunder

OAKLAND -- The Warriors delivered a perfectly patchwork performance Tuesday night in their 108-100 win over the Thunder on opening night. Even in victory, it was evident they have a lot of work to do.

There was good and bad in near equal quantities, and everybody in the locker room was honest enough to acknowledge it. They’ll need to be substantially better to meet their standard, and they know it.

Here are two positives and two negatives apparent in sifting through the game, the reaction and video review:


Curry and Durant bringing the ‘O’

On a night when Klay Thompson simply didn’t have it -- 5 of 20 from the field and 1 of 8 beyond the arc, missing his last seven attempts from deep -- Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant found buckets.

Curry and Durant combined for 22 first-quarter points, helping the Warriors build a double-digit lead. The two scored seven of the team’s nine points inside the final two minutes to close out the win.

Curry finished with 32 points (11 of 20 from the field, 5 of 9 beyond the arc, 5 of 5 from the free-throw line), a game-high nine assists and eight rebounds. He was plus-15 in 37 minutes.

Durant also played 37 minutes, totaling 27 points (9 of 21 from the field, 0 of 5 from deep, 9 of 10 from the line), eight rebounds, six assists and one block. He was plus-14 for the game.

The rise of Kevon

Entering last season, there were legitimate concerns whether Kevon Looney could have a significant NBA career. The team’s first-round pick in the 2015 draft, he had undergone surgery on both hips, leaving much to doubt about his future.

He silenced those doubts. Effective on both ends, Looney was a solid contributor, which led to the next question: What is his ceiling?

That’s to be determined, but it’s clear he has not reached it. Always smart and fundamentally sound, Looney now is sprinkling in more instances of his athleticism.

He was hyperactive in the paint, protecting the rim and grabbing 10 rebounds -- eight on the offensive glass -- to extend multiple possessions. He blocked two shots and recorded two assists. That he was plus-23 in 18 minutes illustrates his impact.

Looney is shedding the skepticism. He’s 22. He has an NBA future.


Temporary loss of identity

The Warriors entered the second half with a 10-point lead. OKC needed less than five minutes to erase the deficit and go up by three, largely because the Warriors were passive on defense and strayed from their customary pass-happy offense.

The Thunder cut the deficit to three (64-61) when Durant locked in on Paul George and failed to switch onto Patrick Patterson, who hit a wide-open 3 off a George pass.

Two possessions later, after a George triple pulled OKC within two, a Draymond Green turnover led directly to a 3-ball by Dennis Schroder, who was given too much space by Curry. Thunder by one.

How did the Warriors respond? They went with back-to-back zero-pass possessions, first by Durant and the second by Thompson. When Klay misfired on a midrange jumper, Kerr popped off the bench.

What followed was predictable. Kerr called a timeout, but not before OKC had worked the ball inside to Steven Adams, who dropped it in for a three-point lead.

The Warriors went away from what they do best. A timeout helped them remember.

Iguodala limps into the locker room

Andre Iguodala left the game with 6:11 left in the second quarter and did not return. The Warriors announced the veteran wing was experiencing tightness in his left calf.

Maybe it’s something to worry about. Maybe it’s not.

But it didn’t take long -- 18 minutes into the season -- for those whispering concern about Iguodala’s routine availability to get their first nugget worth documenting.

Iguodala has missed 41 games over the last three seasons. When he missed 18 games last season, after signing a three-year contract with $48 million, the whispers started. He’s such an important member of the team, but the injuries are piling up.

There is no need to sound the alarms. But if the aches and pains and bruises start to add up, it’s valid to wonder if Iguodala is entering Andrew Bogut territory.

Kevin Durant explains why Warriors don't need to re-recruit him

Kevin Durant explains why Warriors don't need to re-recruit him

When he becomes a free agent on July 1, Kevin Durant will have multiple suitors lined up.

We have no clue if the two-time NBA Finals MVP will hold pitch meetings, like he did in the summer of 2016, but we do know several franchises will recruit him hard.

Apparently, the Warriors don't really need to do any recruiting.

[RELATED: Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation]

“I don’t need to feel appreciated,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports after the Warriors' 108-100 win over the Thunder on Tuesday. "I don’t need anything extra (from the Warriors).

"I'm just here to hoop and win games. I already know what this organization is about.”

One week before training camp opened, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said "of course" the Warriors will need to re-recruit Durant. Lacob echoed those thoughts during an appearance on NBC Sports Bay Area before Tuesday's game.

"We're going to try to recruit him, and I'm actually optimistic," Lacob said. "I don't know why. ...  I'm frankly not going to worry about it until the year's over with.

"I think Kevin and we should just go through the season, do our thing, and we'll all find out next year."

If only it were that simple. Durant's future is being discussed on a daily basis, and we all know that isn't going to stop.

There will be occasions this season when Durant is asked about free agency, and he's not going to be ... polite.

Consider yourself warned.

“It depends on how I feel that day,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “If I’m in a (expletive)-up mood, you’re going to see. Ask me that question and you’re going to really see what mood I’m in.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation

Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation

So here's what happened ...

After the Warriors' win over the Thunder on Tuesday night, Kevin Durant posted a series of six photos to Instagram with the caption: "1 down, 81 more. What a night!!"

View this post on Instagram

1 down, 81 more. What a night!!

A post shared by 35 (@easymoneysniper) on

Durant's brother, Tony, left the following comment: "Yessir brother!!!! Filling the hand up before we get outta here!"

[RELATED: Joe Lacob optimistic Warriors will re-sign Kevin Durant in free agency]

It's understandable for people to have interpreted this as a bad sign for the Warriors when it comes to Durant's future with the franchise. But on Wednesday morning, Tony responded on Instagram with the following explanation:

Tony posted an additional comment saying: "delete this post it's not accurate lmaooo report this true stuff please brother."

If in fact Tony does know that Kevin is leaving Golden State in July, and if that is what he intended to convey in his original comment ... that would be a very odd thing to do.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller