Warriors takeaways: What we learned in ugly 111-98 loss vs. Kings

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in ugly 111-98 loss vs. Kings


SACRAMENTO -- The battered Warriors have been on the wrong end of blowouts a lot this season. On Monday, they added to their resumé, losing to the Sacramento Kings 111-98, marking their fifth straight defeat. 

Without D'Angelo Russell and Draymond Green, the Warriors trailed by as many as 31 points, surrendering their second loss in two tries to the Kings this season. It was Golden State's first in Sacramento since 2017.

Here are the takeaways from a game that further displayed the Warriors' fall in the Western Conference. 

Putrid offense

A lineup without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and D'Angelo Russell was expected to be putrid. By the end of the night, the Warriors exceeded expectations, putting together their worst offensive game of the season. 

In 48 minutes, they shot just 39.5 percent from the field, including  3-of-23 from beyond the arc, failing to find any sort of rhythm. Alec Burks made just two of his 10 attempts from the field, while Damion Lee put out a similar line (3-of-11, eight points). At one point in the first half, the Warriors had more turnovers (9) than field goals (8). 

With a battered roster, such performances were expected, and Monday night was another reminder that the team needs its talent back fast. 

Willie's return

Willie Cauley-Stein came back to Sacramento hoping for a solid performance against his former team. That didn't happen. 

In 26 minutes, he managed just eight points, finishing minus-10 for the night. Still, there were some bright spots along the way. In the first quarter, he found Glenn Robinson for a jumper. A play later, he stole a pass, leading to a breakaway dunk. 

As Cauley-Stein struggled, the fans continued to boo, jeering him each time he got the ball, reminding him of their discontent. During his first four years in Sacramento, the seven-footer showed signs of promise but was often criticized for his inconsistency. With the Warriors, he has shown some of the same traits, showing glimpses of promise and flashes of regression. On Monday, those habits were on display once again. 

Kerr gets tossed 

As the game progressed, so, too, did Steve Kerr's irritation levels. With less than a minute left in the first half, he let it all out on the refs, earning two technical fouls and his first ejection of the season. 

His first technical came after the referees didn't call a travel on Kings guard De'Aaron Fox, which was followed by his ejection after Kerr told the officials to "wake the f--k up" before heading towards the tunnel. 

[RELATED: Watch Kerr get his money's worth before being ejected]

The sequence was similar to Kerr's ejection from a 109-106 overtime loss to the Kings in 2017, when the coach fiercely argued a foul call against Warriors forward Kevon Looney. Kerr is known for being a fiery competitor, and if the officials didn't know that before, they do now.

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

James Harden scored 29 points on 16 field-goal attempts the last time the Warriors faced the Houston Rockets back on Feb. 20. Houston won that game 135-105, and it sounds like Golden State's Juan Toscano-Anderson was looking forward to the rematch.

With the NBA season indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Toscano-Anderson and the Warriors have some free time on their hands. Toscano-Anderson made use of it by holding a Q&A on Twitter on Saturday night, at which time he was asked which player -- whether teammate or opponent -- he was most looking forward to playing with or against when the season starts back up.

Toscano-Anderson provided multiple answers.

"Excited to get our whole team back to full strength," Toscano-Anderson replied. "I was very excited to guard James Harden."

Well, you've got to appreciate the fact that he's not afraid of a challenge. There might not be a tougher player to guard than Harden in the entire league, but then again, Toscano-Anderson didn't finally establish himself as an NBA player this season by taking the easy way out.

[RELATED: Toscano-Anderson reveals all-time Warriors starting five]

The Warriors and Rockets were scheduled to play each other for a fourth and final time this season in Houston on April 2. Obviously, that particular game won't take place on that day, but whether it is postponed or canceled, Toscano-Anderson surely will have more opportunities to try to make things harder on Harden.

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception


Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

The Warriors don't know if or when the current NBA season will resume, much less the next one. But whenever the 2020-21 season takes place, they'll likely have used several assets at their disposal with which to return to a level of legitimate contention.

But in terms of the Warriors' asset that likely will have the greatest determining impact on their success next season, the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer stands apart from the rest.

Trade exceptions cannot be combined with others, so through the Iguodala trade exception, Golden State cannot acquire a player making more than $17.2 million (technically, it's $17,185,185.) However, trade exceptions can be split, so the Warriors could theoretically use the Iguodala trade exception to acquire multiple players, as long as their combined salaries don't exceed that amount.

While Golden State should absolutely be able to acquire a good player with that trade exception, the Dubs will have the added challenge of only having a tight window with which to use it. Once the league moratorium concludes at noon ET on July 6 (as currently scheduled), the Warriors will only have until the end of the following day to utilize the exception in a trade. They cannot use it prior to the moratorium, though in theory, they could agree to a trade at any point along the way.

Given the indefinite league stoppage due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's possible that Golden State will be granted some kind of an extension to use the Iguodala trade exception, but there is no guarantee. Whenever it expires, however, the Warriors would be wise to use it on one of the following seven players prior to that point.