Warriors takeaways: What we learned in gutty 93-87 loss to Hornets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in gutty 93-87 loss to Hornets


SAN FRANCISCO -- Recent injuries to Stephen Curry, D'Angelo Russell and Draymond Green were supposed to doom Golden State for the foreseeable future. 

For most of Saturday's game at Chase Center, the remaining roster didn't get the memo, losing to the Charlotte Hornets 93-87 despite putting up a valiant effort.

After taking a one-point lead in the final minutes, Golden State failed to get offensive rebounds on consecutive missed free throws by the Hornets.

In recent weeks, Warriors coach Steve Kerr has opted to simplify both his offensive and defensive schemes to cater to his young roster. For the moment, the young team earned his trust in a scrappy performance. 

Young guns deliver

With injuries mounting, Golden State's young core has been forced into a larger role than expected. On Saturday, they responded. 

Eric Paschall scored 12 of his 25 points in the first half, including a poster dunk over Cody Zeller in the second quarter. Ky Bowman, one of Golden State's two two-way players, finished with 16 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists in his first career start, helping the Warriors take a 55-50 halftime lead. 

In this simplified offense, the Warriors are running more pick-and-rolls rather than its traditional motion offense. In the win, the strategy worked as Golden State's maturation continues. 

Perimeter Defense Steps Up

For much of the season, the Warriors have struggled to find any defensive cohesion. The trend changed on Saturday evening as the Warriors held Charlotte the to just 17 percent from 3-point range. 

Entering the matchup, Charlotte was the league's top 3-point shooting team, making 41.9 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. 

Miles Bridges -- one of the Hornets leading scorers -- made just one of 10 shots from the field. 

Since training camp, Kerr has been trying to find some continuity on the defensive end despite eight new additions. If Saturday was any indication, the defensive output is trending upward. 

Glenn Robinson III

The six-year forward's performance has been much maligned over the first month of the season, garnering criticisms of his offensive production. 

Against the Hornets, Robinson had his best game of the season, finishing with 16 points and adding eight rebounds. 

During the summer, Robinson was signed for his 3-point shooting and defensive potential. With injuries mounting, he'll need to show more of those attributes as the season wears on.

Steph Curry says basketball 'in good hands' with Sabrina Ionescu

Steph Curry says basketball 'in good hands' with Sabrina Ionescu

Two Bay Area legends were in attendance Friday night at Haas Pavilion when the University of Oregon played the Cal Bears. One was on the floor, and one was in the seats. 

Warriors star Steph Curry brought his two daughters, Riley and Ryan, to watch Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu. The Walnut Creek native recorded her 25th career triple-double as the Ducks downed the Bears, 93-61. 

On Saturday, Curry paid his respects to Ionescu, who is a huge fan of the two-time NBA MVP. "The game is in good hands," Steph wrote on Instagram with a picture of he and Ionescu after the game. 

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The game is in great hands 💪🏽

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Ionescu dropped 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in what was her seventh triple-double of her senior season. She is nine rebounds away from becoming college basketball’s first 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound, 1,000-assist player.

"The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that," Curry told Pac-12 Network's Kate Scott on Friday. "She could be blessed with all the talent in the world, but if she didn't have that, she wouldn't be who she was."

Ionescu, who starred at Miramonte High School before going to Oregon, is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. She is averaging 17.1 points, 8.8 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Ducks. 

[RELATED: Curry says March 1 has 'always been' intended return]

While she's dominating on the florr, Ionescu certainly is excited for Curry's return to the court. Steph participated in his first live scrimmage at Warriors practice on Saturday since breaking his hand in the fourth game of the season, and is eyeing a March 1 return date. 

Basketball is in better hands when the two Bay Area legends are healthy and putting on a show in their sport. 

Watch top NBA draft prospect Anthony Edwards throw down poster dunk

Watch top NBA draft prospect Anthony Edwards throw down poster dunk

Anthony Edwards can get up and throw it down. The Georgia star shooting guard put Vanderbilt freshman Braelee Albert on an eye-popping poster with this ferocious slam on Saturday. 

Edwards scored 19 points to go along with his rim-rattling dunk, in an 80-78 comeback win over the Commodores. Georgia improved to 14-13 on the season with the loss. 

Once again, the freshman guard showed why he could be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Edwards shot 7-for-16 from the field and also grabbed five rebounds. 

What really stood out was Edwards' athleticism and vision on this play, though. 

Edwards, who doesn't turn 19 years old until August, has been questioned about his shot selection but he has to carry the load on a team that isn't exactly full of NBA talent. This is just another reason why he could be an intriguing option for the Warriors in this June's draft. 

The majority of mock drafts currently have Golden State selecting Edwards with a top pick. He isn't exactly a positional fit like Memphis center James Wiseman, but Edwards' athleticism and upside could be an instant boost to the bench. 

[RELATED: Should Warriors keep Wiggins if they win NBA Draft Lottery?]

Entering Saturday, Edwards was averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. That's nearly what he put up Saturday as the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard put his skills on display. 

The Warriors are sure to have their eyes on every top draft prospect right. Edwards' performance in a win over Vandy could vault him up their draft boards, too.