Warriors

Warriors Under Review: Two scary moments, but Pacers were never a threat

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Warriors Under Review: Two scary moments, but Pacers were never a threat

With Draymond Green, the spine of the defense, completely out of the mix, the Warriors strolled into Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday and quickly extinguished any hope of an upset.

The Indiana Pacers, with an impressive 32-16 record but without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, hung around for a few minutes. And then, halfway through the first quarter, the Warriors got serious and sprinted to a 132-100 victory.

That’s 11 consecutive wins for the defending champs, with no end in sight.

Here are some of the positives and a sprinkle of negative from the game that concluded a 5-0 road trip:

POSITIVE

Boogie survives scary moment

With 7:35 left in the first quarter, everybody associated with the Warriors held their breath. Hit from behind while airborne (by Pacers big man Myles Turner), DeMarcus Cousins landed hard, with his left foot/ankle taking the brunt. Five games into his comeback from a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon, he was on the floor, writhing in pain. He got up. He stayed in. Made two free throws. Played another 20 minutes and finished with a season-high 22 points, along with six rebounds and four assists.

Coach Steve Kerr said Cousins was “sore.” It’s too soon to know if he’ll be available Thursday. It’s not to soon to realize as bad as it looked, it could’ve been worse.

POSITIVE

Mr. Curry averts disaster

For the second time in a week, Stephen Curry slipped and fell on the court. It happened last week in Los Angeles and again Monday in Indy. Celebrating a thunderous second-quarter dunk by Klay Thompson, Curry leapt off the bench, dropped his warmup jacket and, trying to sprint a few steps, tripped over it and landed hard. Hopes for the season hung in the balance for a few precious seconds before Curry got up.

He entered the game four minutes later and promptly scored 13 points in the quarter. What could have been disastrous ended with a collective sigh and smile.

POSITIVE

The joy of Mr. Adams

Assistant coach Ron Adams lives for inspired defense and is miserable when he doesn’t see it. He seeks perfection, but settles for effort. He loved the first quarter, when the Warriors forced five turnovers (getting four steals along the way) while limiting the Pacers to 35-percent shooting. Indiana shot 43.2 percent for the game, the sixth opponent to shoot less than 45 percent during the 11-game win streak.

The Warriors are playing the best defense in the league. This makes Adams happy.

NEGATIVE

Mr. Durant’s shooting

The oddest sight of the night was that of Kevin Durant struggling to make shots that he usually swishes blindfolded. He took 21 shots and missed 14. His makes were three dunks, a six-footer, a nine-footer, a 14-footer and a 29-foot 3-pointer. Everything else to was too long, too short, off left or off right. It has been nearly two months since Durant shot less than 33.3 percent in a game. He had scored at least 20 points in 22 consecutive games before finishing with 17.

Though Durant couldn’t care less about the streak, it is strange to see one of the most efficient scoring machines in NBA history failing at the thing he does best.

POSITIVE

Mr. Looney’s stock continues to rise

After spending last season finding his place in the NBA, Kevon Looney is using this season to show why he has a home in the league. Upon becoming an unrestricted free agent last July, he got no love on the market. He came back to the Warriors on a minimum deal ($1.57 million). He’s not fluid, but he is profoundly effective on both ends. In 18 minutes, he had 15 points (6-of-7 shooting), five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. He was plus-18. This is becoming 'Typical Looney'.

Looney has come a long way from the guy whose career was in question. He’s a solid rotation player who will command a salary well beyond his current $1.57 million.

Steph Curry loves idea of Draymond Green shooting more for Warriors

Steph Curry loves idea of Draymond Green shooting more for Warriors

Draymond Green's most prolific shooting seasons came in the two years before Kevin Durant joined the Warriors.

In 2014-15, the first year of the Warriors' historic NBA Finals run, Green averaged 9.7 shots per game. The next season he averaged a career-high 10.1 shots.

Once Durant arrived in 2016, Green became the fourth option for the Warriors and peaked at 8.8 shots per game in 2017-18.

But with Durant now in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson is on the mend, Green will likely get close to his career high again, and teammate Steph Curry is all for it.

“I love it,” Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. “That’s what you want to see.”

Curry and new Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell will shoulder a bulk of the scoring until Thompson returns, but with so many young, unproven players on the roster, Green will need to score in order for the Warriors to win games.

For reference, Green averaged 8.3 shots in four preseason games. We know it's a small sample size and the Warriors were working on a lot of things during the exhibition season, but it would be beneficial for the Warriors if Green becomes more aggressive when the games start counting on Thursday.

[RELATED: Greatness of Draymond dependent on 3-point shooting]

If players like Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marquese Chriss, Glenn Robinson and Jordan Poole can pick up big chunks of the scoring load, it's possible that Green doesn't need to shoot as much. But all of those players come with question marks surrounding their health or experience.

So Green should heed Curry's words aim for 10 shots a game. The only time he reached that number, the Warriors won 73 games.

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young has never been one to blend in with the crowd, and he's not about to change anytime soon.

Even though his NBA playing days are behind him, Young still is very much keeping tabs on the league, and -- this might shock you -- he has some noteworthy opinions. In speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex, Young offered some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season, and as you'd expect, he didn't shy away from hot takes.

One of those takes, in particular, concerned the Warriors.

When asked if he had one crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season, Young provided a double dose.

"I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs," Young initially replied. "I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed."

Predictions for the Warriors are all over the place, and Swaggy P is no different. ESPN projects Golden State as the third-best NBA team over the next three seasons, but some of the company's personalities have a considerably lower opinion of the Dubs.

[RELATED: Why center-by-committee is Warriors' best course of action]

Young won his one and only NBA championship as a member of the Warriors, but clearly, that's not biasing his predictions. As for who he thinks the 2019-20 NBA champion will be, however, he went with one of the other five teams he played for in his 12-year career.

"Lakers."

I suppose they can't all be hot takes.

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