The Warriors opened the season with a performance for the trash bin. If they didn’t throw it away the third quarter, they surely did immediately after the final horn.
Their 125-99 loss to the championship-contending Nets on Tuesday in Brooklyn came with such a dizzying array of forgettable performances that coach Steve Kerr and his staff might avoid the trauma of video review.
They shot poorly, were clobbered on the glass and also were torched by Brooklyn’s 3-point shooting.
The Warriors were down double digits less than five minutes after tipoff and never threatened, as the combination of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (48 points in 50 minutes) were too much for Stephen Curry (20 points and 10 assists, both team highs), who didn’t play particularly well but got little more than remnants of help.
Here are three takeaways from a night the Warriors emptied the bench early and would love to believe will be their low point of the season:
Wiggins at his worst
No one on the roster needed a good showing more than Andrew Wiggins, who enters this season ranked among the league’s most disrespected players.
His reputation, after this game, remains firmly intact.
Wiggins finished with 13 points, shooting 4-of-16 from the field, including 2-6 from distance. He grabbed two rebounds, recorded one block and one assist while committing four turnovers. His defense alternated from insufficient to ineffective to disengagement.
He played 31 minutes and finished minus-28.
Yes, it’s only one game, against a superior team. But if the Warriors are to have any chance of success, Wiggins cannot afford to submit many more comprehensively atrocious performances.
Trouble with triples
The Warriors during the preseason fired up so many 3-pointers it was as if prizes were awarded for volume. They toned it down considerably in this game and that was a good thing.
They were 6-of-25 through three quarters before rallying to finished 10-of-33.
The best of the deep shooters were the big men, as Marquese Chriss, Eric Paschall (who started at power forward in place of Draymond Green (foot) and Wiseman combined for 3-of-5
Curry was 2-of-10 from deep. Kelly Oubre Jr., in his Warriors debut, was 0-of-6 and settling for a lone highlight, that being a soaring, jaw-dropping dunk following a Kent Bazemore miss.
Curry will do better; that’s a given. Oubre needs to do better, and he will, if only because it can’t get worse than missing every attempt.
Wiseman was nice
James Wiseman made his NBA debut in the starting lineup. That’s quite the welcome for the immensely promising 19-year-old who did not play a minute in the preseason.
He acquitted himself very well, playing 24 minutes, scoring 19 points (7-of-12 shooting), snagging six rebounds and two steals.
More important, though, Wiseman never seemed overwhelmed by the moment, the surroundings or the star-rich opposition. He made a few rookie mistakes – he’ll make more as the season goes on – but flashed the skills and athleticism that have the Warriors barely able to submerge their giddiness.
On a night that went dark early, Wiseman provided at least a ray of bright light.