Opening night the Golden State Warriors faced off against one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference. From the jump the Warriors went down 15 in the first quarter and could not catch up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Steph Curry still had his 20 points but with no superstar help Curry struggled to get open shots and shot 2-10 from three. The real story of the night for the Warriors was Kelly Oubre shooting 0-6 from three and only six points on the night. With the high expectations of the team, opening night was not a welcoming sight with a 26 point loss to the Nets.
With such high expectations for the Warriors they have been given many primetime games. They played the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day. Once again Steph Curry shot 2-10 from three with 19 points, the number-two pick James Wiseman dominated on the boards with eight rebounds and 18 points, but Oubre Jr. only scored three points and still hadn’t hit a three in 11 attempts. It wasn’t Giannis Antetokounmpo who had a big scoring night but Khris Middleton with 31 points, even though the Warriors have two capable wing defenders. Allowing 138 points is almost always a loss in the NBA and the Warriors defense in two games had allowed an average of 131.5 ppg. Luckily the Warriors would be headed to Chicago for a chance to play the 0-2 Bulls.
The Warriors went into the Bulls game needing a win. In Curry’s best game yet, he scored 36 points on 5-13 from three. Once again Curry did not receive any help with spacing on the court and again Oubre Jr. still did not hit a three-pointer. The Warriors let four of the five Bulls starters to score 20 or more points but with a Damion Lee game-winner at the buzzer the Warriors won their first game of the season.
Riding high on the game-winner by Lee the Warriors went to the 0-3 Detroit Pistons looking to build off the momentum. This is the first game where Oubre Jr. hit a three-pointer, Andrew Wiggins had 27 points, and Curry went off for another 31 points. Although James Wiseman only had six points and six rebounds he had the highest plus minus of the night. The Warriors improving to 2-2 after a rough 0-2 start is huge, not only for the standings but for the players and coaches’ mindset heading into the Damian Lillard-led Trailblazers.
In the first game of a two-game series with the Blazers the Warriors didn’t play defense and allowed Lillard and CJ McCollum to run all over and combine for 62 points. Draymond Green’s had zero points in his return to the court, four assists, and four rebounds in 17 minutes. The Warriors lost by 25 but the game of the week would be the second game of the Blazers series. Steph Curry was on a mission in this game, he went out there with a chip on his shoulder and scored his career-high 62 points in a 15 point win. Curry looked like 2015 Curry in this game, he had fun, he was pulling from deep, and still had his teammates involved. Wiggins and Oubre Jr. both had 15+ and were able to provide Curry with the spacing he needed to take over.
After the Warriors v Kings game we saw a Warriors team running on all cylinders. Curry was getting to wherever he wanted, Oubre Jr. was knocking down the three, Wiseman was a monster defensively, and Wiggins was knocking down his mid-range shot. Curry went off for 30 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, a near triple-double, blowing out the 3-3 Sacramento Kings on their home court. The Warriors could not miss a shot whether it was Curry or Jordan Poole and defensively were all over De’aaron Fox and Buddy Hield holding them to a combined 28 points. The Warriors seem to be rolling after their rough and a big win over the Sacramento Kings.
Overall: After a very rough start, unlike the Kings the Warriors have turned their misfortunes around and in their most recent game were thriving. Kelly Oubre Jr. has started to look like his old self and Steph Curry is playing out of his mind. If this team played like they did against the Kings they will be in the hunt for one of the eight playoff seeds. Steph Curry is currently averaging 32 ppg and the Warriors needs this productivity from Curry in order to compete every night. Without Curry this team is a bottom of the league team but if healthy Curry alongside Green, Wiseman, Oubre Jr., and Wiggins will compete on a nightly basis in order to make the playoffs once again.