Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 104-79 road loss vs. Hawks


Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 104-79 road loss vs. Hawks

The Warriors walked into State Farm Arena on Monday night eager to erase the memories of a fourth-quarter meltdown 24 hours earlier and instead found what has to be their bottom.

A 104-79 blowout loss to the lowly Hawks in Atlanta came as a direct result of repeated self-sabotaging flurries of turnovers, sloppy dribbling and ill-advised shots.

One night after a horrid fourth quarter led to a loss at Orlando, the Warriors -- one-half game ahead of the Hawks entering the night -- had a chance to lose the tag of the league’s worst team and instead reinforced the label with a 25-point thrashing.

While the Hawks snapped a 10-game losing streak and lifted their record to 5-16, the Warriors left Georgia lugging a 4-18 record that signifies their worst 22-game start in 32 years -- since they opened the 1987-88 season losing 21 of their first 25 games.

Here are three takeaways from a game that, at the start, had every reason to be close.

The return of Kevon Looney

After battling a neuropathic condition that flared up in training camp, Kevon Looney made his first appearance since opening night.

The 6-foot-9 forward-center looked about as rusty as one would reasonably expect.

Looney started at power forward -- with Eric Paschall sliding over to small forward -- and was slated to play 15-20 minutes. He played 15 minutes, finishing with two points (1-of-3 from the field), two rebounds and two blocks.

Assuming Looney experiences no adverse physical effects on Tuesday, he’ll be back in action on Wednesday at Charlotte. He’s going to need at least a couple weeks to find any kind of rhythm.

Ball movement concepts too often ignored

These Warriors are not good enough to consistently take defenders off the dribble, yet they spent much of evening attempting exactly that.

The results, naturally, were disastrous.

They actually had more turnovers (10) than assists (nine) in the first half -- and outdid that in the second half to finish with 17 assists and 23 turnovers. News flash: It’s almost impossible to beat even the worst of opponents when the turnover court exceeds the assist total.

The coaching staff believes in ball movement now more than ever. If it made the offensive game easier for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, it definitely would make it easier for Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and this team’s three centers.

There were far too many instances when the Warriors opted not to follow that script.

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Paschall shines alone

While his teammates were shooting 33.3 percent and making errors all over the court, Paschall was shooting 81.8 percent and had twice as many assists as turnovers. He simply had no worthy sidekicks.

Starting at small forward but also putting in time at power forward with Draymond Green resting his tender heel, Paschall finished with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.

Paschall didn’t stop there, dishing a team-high six assists and grabbing a team-high-tying nine rebounds.

On a night when his teammates were in a fog, the 6-6, 250-pound Villanova product was the lone ray of light.

Why Warriors' Eric Paschall, Draymond Green have 'great' chemistry

Why Warriors' Eric Paschall, Draymond Green have 'great' chemistry

Can Draymond Green and Eric Paschall thrive together for the Warriors?

That's a question that was asked a lot this season, and the truth is that we still don't have a definitive answer.

Draymond is Golden State's starting power forward, which is the position Paschall prefers playing.

During a Zoom conversation Monday afternoon with NBC Sports Bay Area, the rookie discussed his on-court relationship with the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

"He's been on the floor in the biggest games possible. Just learning from him," Paschall said. "Whenever me and him are on the floor, we talk a lot. We end up just having conversations. Say we do make a mistake, we'll just be like, 'This happened, this happened, so next time do this.'

"Me and his chemistry on the court is great. We talk about every possible situation offensively and defensively."

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If Paschall cements himself as a player who needs to be on the floor 30 plus minutes a night, one workaround for Steve Kerr and the coaching staff is for Draymond to log more minutes at center.

And that is something the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year already is thinking about.

[RELATEDPaschall picks starting lineup from Warriors coaches, execs]

"I was always very careful over the last five, six years not to play him too many minutes at center," Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic a couple weeks ago. "But I think the league has changed pretty dramatically, and I can see him playing more minutes at the five.

"I don't think there would be any problem with that ... if Draymond is on the floor, he just guards anybody he wants because he's that good. If we decide to play him at the five and Eric at the four, we're gonna have a lot of shooting on the floor next to those guys -- and play-making -- and I think that's a combination that can work."

It just might need to work for the Warriors to be at their best moving forward.

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Stanford doctor draws Steph Curry, Klay Thompson art on Etch A Sketch


Stanford doctor draws Steph Curry, Klay Thompson art on Etch A Sketch

Healthcare professionals worldwide have been the true heroes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, putting their lives on the line to save the suffering. It has been hard for doctors and nurses to deal with the stresses brought on by overwhelming and exhausting shifts at overcrowded hospitals during these dire times, but one particular physician has found a creative way to find some solace in his minimal free time.

Dr. Greg Adamson, a fellow in pediatric cardiology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, drew this impressive piece of art of Warriors stars Steph Curry and Klay Tompson on an Etch A Sketch.

Adamson finished the drawing last Saturday. He has been a Warriors fan since moving to the Bay Area for college in 2005, and he has a home in mind for his Splash Brothers artwork.

"I have a way to make them permanent and I usually give them as gifts," Adamson told NBC Sports Bay Area. "This one will likely find its way to a good friend of mine that's a die-hard Warriors fan."

[RELATED: Zaza buys lunch for healthcare workers helping fight virus]

Drawing on an Etch A Sketch can be daunting, Adamson said. One small mistake can ruin the whole project.

"The preparation takes me an hour or two," he explained. "Choosing the photo and drawing it out, making a plan where it can all be done with one continuous line, since, of course, you can’t stop the line to move the styles. Then, I start with the most difficult part -- in this case, Steph’s beautiful face -- just in case I mess up (and then) I can erase and start over. The rest took about four hours."

Adamson, and all other healthcare workers fighting for their patients' lives, deserve great admiration and appreciation. An Etch A Sketch drawing pales in comparison to their heroic efforts, but a simple, beautiful piece of artwork can go a long way amid all of the anxiety and pain of this health crisis.

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