On Wednesday night, Steve Kerr dropped this piece of news during his pregame press conference.
Kerr announced that Kevon Looney wouldn’t be playing against the Sacramento Kings due to feeling unwell and was sent home after shootaround.
The Warriors’ coach revealed that the starting lineup would include rookie Moses Moody alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jonathan Kuminga. One prominent name was missing from the group: Chris Paul.
Paul began his career with a preseason game, although it was just a preseason match, on the Warriors’ bench. The outcome turned in their favor, signifying his fourth successive triumph during the preseason while steering the Golden State Warriors from the point guard position.
In a heart-pounding finale, with a mere 6.1 seconds remaining on the clock, Curry delivered the knockout blow with a game-winning 3-pointer against the Sacramento Kings. This basket sealed the deal for the Golden State Warriors, securing a thrilling victory with a final score of 116-115.
Curry’s incredible performance included a remarkable 16-point surge in the fourth quarter, establishing him as the top scorer of the game with an impressive total of 30 points, achieved on 18 shooting attempts. Additionally, his prowess from beyond the 3-point line was undeniable, as he successfully made 8 out of 12 attempts, further solidifying his status as a sharpshooter.
Here are the three key takeaways from the exciting Warriors preseason win:
CP3 on the Court
It didn’t take Paul much time to make his court entrance. He wasn’t perched on the bench spectating the game or leisurely cycling around. For Paul, who was not entirely familiar with the surroundings, sitting back and watching wasn’t his style; he preferred to stand on his own two feet.
As the first quarter clock dwindled down, with the Warriors trailing by seven points and 7 minutes and 51 seconds left, Paul and Dario Saric were the initial duo summoned from Coach Kerr’s bench, and their entry made an instant impact.
While Paul didn’t manage to score during the first quarter, his significance on the court became evident by halftime, contributing three points, securing five rebounds, and dishing out three assists. Paul’s impact continued to gain momentum in the second half.
Paul played in the final five minutes, and when he re-entered the game, the Warriors were trailing by ten points. The Warriors fought back in those last five-plus minutes, and Paul’s presence was a significant factor in that.
Paul-Kuminga Connection Shines
The Paul-Kuminga duo, highly publicized, has clear chemistry. Paul and Kuminga will play together a lot, and their previous experiences with each other in Phoenix make the transition seem effortless. Saric knows how to set up and screen for Paul, and they communicate continuously during plays and right after timeouts.
Ultimately, it concluded as an exhilarating preseason matchup for the Golden State Warriors, offering valuable glimpses into their performance and the promise brought by their recent acquisitions. It’s worth closely monitoring how this synergy unfolds as the regular season progresses.
Sometimes they used to sit together on the bench.
As the first quarter reached its conclusion, Saric, sharing the court with Paul, had already notched five points, secured five rebounds, and executed two steals. By halftime, he had surged ahead as the leading scorer for the Warriors, amassing a total of 12 points. In addition to his five rebounds and two steals, Saric also contributed two assists.
Saric continued to shine amongst the Warriors’ bench players, ultimately finishing the game with a remarkable 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals to his name. However, as the regulation clock dwindled down to the final 18 seconds and the Warriors trailed by a solitary point, Saric faced a moment of challenge when he missed two consecutive free throws.
The Warriors’ two rookies, Jackson-Davis and Poeltl, stole the spotlight in this preseason. Poeltl is showing up like a draft steal, filling the stat sheet and playing like a young player.
On Wednesday night, roles reversed. Poeltl was glued to the bench, while Jackson-Davis received the most minutes played in this preseason.
He truly seized the chance presented to him.
The second-round selection didn’t disappoint, delivering a remarkable double-double performance in a mere 25 minutes of play, tallying an impressive 13 points and securing 10 rebounds.Jackson-Davis was active around the rim and swatting shots. His main downfall was the five fouls he committed, some of which were due to pure inexperience.
Jackson-Davis showed how much power he can bring, and the coaching staff and Kerr will surely appreciate his potential.
In terms of the roster perspective, Jackson-Davis will likely have a role as a rookie with the Warriors. It might develop slowly, but his presence will be felt at times throughout the season.