It’s preseason, so it’s hard to glean much from the action other than who’s healthy and in shape. The only newsworthy item to come out of the Warriors’ second preseason game (a 94-81 win over the Kings) was that Monday night’s starting small forward, Harrison Barnes, only played six minutes. Mark Jackson pulled Barnes due to inflammation in his left foot.
“It was just smart for us to shut him down,” said Jackson. “It’s been an issue for a couple days now. First game I don’t think he felt 100%, he fought through it. Wanted to give it a go tonight … I’m not sure how much (time he’ll miss). That’s for the experts. Probably will not play tomorrow.”
David Lee said after the game that this is the deepest Warriors team since he’s been here, so losing Barnes for a short time shouldn’t make much of a difference. The Warriors played solid defense over the last three quarters against a Kings team that seems a lot like prior Kings teams (it was Sacramento’s first preseason game), but it’s preseason. Let’s get to the fun stuff.
At the end of the game, Stephen Curry’s brother Seth came into the game to loud, high-pitched cheers. Many in press row compared his reception to when Jeremy Lin would come into games with the Warriors, but there seemed to be more of a heartthrob-type tone to the cheers for Curry the younger. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Seth didn’t take a shot in his first two minutes of preseason action on Saturday in Ontario against the Lakers (the Warriors lost that game 104-95, in case you’re keeping track). On Monday night he attempted a three and missed, then after a wild sequence near the end of the game got the ball in his hands on the baseline and nailed a 12-foot jumper.
Confetti rained down, and the big scoreboard above midcourt showed Steph’s reaction: laughing sheepishly while semi-covering his face with a towel. I asked Steph what he thought about the shot.
“That was a fun play. It’s preseason and those guys were out there working hard,” Curry the elder said. “See him be able to step into a last-second shot, it looked like it didn’t faze him. Just knocked it down like he was shooting by himself at the gym. Nice to see him get on the board, nice little confidence boost.”
— Klay Thompson likes coming in off the bench and firing away. He went 8-for-17 and scored 17 points on Monday night, after leading the Warriors with 26 points on Saturday.
— Andre Iguodala led the team in minutes and came up with five steals and nice finish on a nice halfcourt lob from Stephen Curry. Curry compared that alley-oop relationship to playing with Dorell Wright.
With all respect to Wright, Iguodala is a much better player. He looks like he’s fitting in very well so far.
— Curry made 9-of-10 free throws, and I asked Jackson whether we can expect to see Curry get to the line more often.
“I expect him to be very aggressive. When teams are trying to play him with force, he’s got to meet force with force. The way to do that is to attack and get to the free throw line. I thought he played a very good basketball game with the exception of the five turnovers. He’s got to be better than that and he knows it.”
Tim Kawakami asked if Curry is doing a better job at “selling” the fouls.
“He’s getting fouled, he’s getting fouled. I’m just trying to get to my office and watch Hanging With Mr. Curry,” Jackson said.
“I don’t read much into it,” said Curry when asked about earning so many foul shots. He also used the word “aggressive” when asked about whether he’s selling the fouls a little more/better this year, but it was in reference to how teams are closing out on his three-point attempts.
— 7′ 0″ rookie Dewayne Dedmon of USC, who didn’t play organized basketball until his senior year of high school for religious reasons, played well in eight minutes, going 3-of-4 from the field and grabbing five rebounds. “He was scared to death in the first game,” said Jackson with a laugh. “I had a talk with him. It’s good that he played his brand of basketball. He’s an NBA player. He’s got a bright future.”
But does he have a shot at making this team?
“He has a chance. He really does have a chance. His size, he’s a very good athlete. Can shoot the basketball. Picks up things quickly on the floor. He’s going to have a chance. I really believe he’s an NBA player today.”