Five takeaways from Warriors' preseason loss to Minnesota


Five takeaways from Warriors' preseason loss to Minnesota

The numbers were better, particularly early, but the result in the second preseason game was the same as in the first. A Warriors loss, this time 111-95 to the Timberwolves on Thursday at Shenzhen Universiade Center in Shenzhen, China.

The defending champions, midway through their abbreviated four-game preseason schedule, are 0-2. The next game, also against Minnesota, is scheduled for Sunday in Shanghai.

Though the Warriors were sharp early, their starting lineup racing out to first-quarter leads of 15-4 and 23-13 and taking a 32-20 lead into the second quarter, they were outscored 91-63 over the final 36 minutes.

With coach Steve Kerr leaning on reserves in the fourth quarter, the Warriors took a 32-12 beating.

Kevin Durant finished with 20 points to lead all scorers, while Stephen Curry put in 14 points, Klay Thompson 13 and Zaza Pachulia 10. Draymond Green scored only 5 points but led the team in assists (eight) and tied for the lead with six rebounds.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

SOLID STARTERS: The starting five of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Pachulia was sharp early, building a lead behind defensive intensity before tailing off slightly in later stints. Still, this group shot a combined 58.1 percent overall and 50.0 percent beyond the arc. Curry and Green tied for team-highs in plus-minus, each at plus-8.

SAGGING SWAGY: Offseason acquisition Nick “Swagy P” Young, hired to provide offense off the bench, had his second forgettable night. The veteran wing played 16 minutes, totaling 7 points (3-of-8 from the field, 1-of-5 from deep, 0-of-5 from the line), two rebounds, zero assists and one turnover. There were times when he seemed utterly lost.

ROTATION GAMES: It is evident Kerr is tinkering with rotations, perhaps in an effort to best divide playing time for a roster with 17 available players. JaVale McGee, for example, entered later than usual in the first quarter and opened the second (which he never does) before giving way to David West with 9:19 left in the half.

ENDURANCE ISSUES: As reflected in the score, the Warriors started with tremendous energy but faltered over the final three quarters. The crispness and vigor shown in the opening minutes gave way sloppy/lazy play typical of teams not in peak conditioning. Kerr noted as much after the game.

YOUNG BIGS: Rookie Jordan Bell was more effective in seven minutes than second-year center Damian Jones was in 11. And Jones spent considerable time with members of the starting lineup. One of these players is going to spend more time in the G-League than in the NBA. Through two games, the rookie seems to have a slight edge.

San Francisco brewing company releases 'LeBron Tears' IPA

San Francisco brewing company releases 'LeBron Tears' IPA

San Francisco's Barebottle Brewing Company is adding insult to injury after the Warriors swept the Cavs in the 2018 NBA Finals. 

Warriors fans can now drink the sadness of LeBron James and the Cavs. Kind of. 

On Saturday, Barebottle announced they have released a new IPA named "LeBron Tears." Here's how they describe the hazy IPA:

Little known fact: KD, Steph, and Klay take opposing teams' hopes and dreams, and turn them into soul crushing 3-pointers. We took the tears from Sir James' Game 1 loss and distilled them into a hazy IPA, just for you. We also decided that Tears pair well with Mosaic hops. Sad!

The Warriors won Game 1 in overtime, 124-114. The game was tied after regulation with J.R. Smith grabbing a missed free throw with 4.7 seconds and ran out the clock by dribbling away from the hoop. 

James scored 51 points with eight assists and eight rebounds in the loss. The Warriors have now beat James and the Cavs three out of the last four years in the Finals. 

LiAngelo Ball works out with Warriors: 'I feel like I'm ready'

LiAngelo Ball works out with Warriors: 'I feel like I'm ready'

OAKLAND -- The second of the three breathlessly publicized Ball brothers worked out for the Warriors on Friday and did so in shoes unaffiliated with the family brand.

LiAngelo Ball wore Nikes.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound forward nonetheless made it through nearly two hours of drills, joining five other draft hopefuls under the supervision of Warriors officials at the team’s Oakland facility.

The Warriors have one pick in next Thursday’s draft, 28th overall. Ball, 19, is considered a second-round pick, at best.

“I feel pretty good going into the draft,” Ball said. “I feel like I’m going to get drafted. I feel I could produce for a team.

“But if I don’t, then it’s going to be the G-League or just go as a free agent and join a Summer League team or something like that.”

Scouts consider Ball a better shooter than his older brother, Lonzo, who was drafted second overall by the Lakers last June. The third Ball brother, LaMelo, 16, is playing in the Junior Basketball Association, a creation of LaVar Ball, the bombastic family patriarch and proprietor of Big Baller Brand apparel.

LiAngelo Ball lasted one game at UCLA last year. He was suspended after a shoplifting arrest in China in November and withdrew from UCLA a month later.

He wound up, at the request of his father, playing professionally for Vytautas Prienu in Lithuania, where he averaged 12.6 points, with 41.5 percent shooting, in 14 games. The time in Europe, Ball says, served to enhance his overall game.

“It wouldn’t have been where I’m at right now, because going overseas helped more, in my opinion,” he said. “In college, I didn’t get the kind of playing time that I thought I’d get. When I went overseas, I was able to develop better.”

Ball concedes his ball-handling needs work. Scout like his shooting and athleticism but have found him indifferent about passing and defending. He has less than a week to make an impression before the draft on Thursday.

“I feel like I’m ready,” Ball said. “I’ve been training for this since a young age. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so when the time comes I’m ready for it.”