Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in preseason-opening loss to Lakers

Warriors

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Draymond Green warned us this would happen.

In the Warriors' first game at Chase Center, the team made good on all the concerns that NBA observers had entering the season, losing 123-101 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.

Golden State's thin frontline was outworked by Anthony Davis -- who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes in his Lakers debut -- while guard D'Angelo Russell struggled from the field in his first game with the Warriors. 

On Thursday, Green hinted the Warriors had a long way to go to find cohesion. Less than 24 hours later, his team proved his words true.

Here are the takeaways from Golden State's first preseason game.

Steph scores, but D'Angelo doesn't

Stephen Curry looked to christen the new building in perhaps the only way he knows how: attempting a long 3-pointer near midcourt 22 seconds into the contest. The shot didn't hit the rim -- it air-balled -- but Curry found a rhythm, finishing with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes of duty. Curry's offense was needed as the Lakers jumped to an 11-0 advantage. 

While Curry played well, Russell struggled, finishing 2 of 9 from the field and a team-worst minus-24 in the contest.

With Klay Thompson out until at least the All-Star break, the Curry-Russell tandem will have to work for the Warriors to stay in contention. Russell has All-Star talent, so it would be easy to chalk this up as a one-off performance. 

 

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Little size, big problems

Entering the season, Golden State's frontcourt was expected to be thin. And with Willie Cauley-Stein, Kevon Looney and rookie Alan Smailagic out Saturday, struggles came as expected.

Through the first 24 minutes, the Warriors were outrebounded 34-26, as Davis -- the Lakers' prized summer acquisition -- bullied Golden State's frontline on most possessions. Omari Spellman also mustered just six points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field for the Warriors.

Without Kevin Durant, the Warriors' margin for error is thin, and there's no bigger sign of that than in their frontcourt. To remain in contention for an eighth consecutive playoff berth, they'll need more from their unproven frontcourt, and performances like Saturday's cannot happen.

Rookies gauged

With Smailagic out, Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole were the only rookies to suit up for the Warriors. Poole showed flashes, scoring eight of his 17 points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer. Meanwhile, Paschall played solid, finishing with 11 points, three rebounds and 3-of-7 shooting from the field.

In the small sample size, there wasn't much to take from either player's performance that we didn't already know. Paschall put in yeoman's work similar to his college career, and Poole isn't afraid to shoot under any circumstance -- a refreshing sight, and one we haven't been accustomed to seeing from recent Warriors draft picks.