If Stephen Curry scored only 10 points and the Golden State Warriors still win by 31 points, it was probably a special night. It certainly was for Klay Thompson who simply couldn’t miss for the dubs, who had no problem dispatching the Los Angeles Lakers in a 125-94 victory that probably meant the visitors overachieved on their first night out.
At some point, all the veterans and missing players are going to take their toll on the Lakers. Now that Steve Nash is not playing on back-to-back games, expecting their bench, led by Xavier Henry (who led the scoring on his team once again) with 14 points, to keep on surprising team is a bit too much, even if they do fit the Mike D’Antoni offensive system.
They also seem to fit his defensive philosophy, which is quite non existent. The Lakers have now given up 114 points a game on the two openers, and things aren’t going to get much better. The Warriors? The Lakers aren’t a good indication for playoff success, but they seem quite ready for the new season, especially Klay Thompson.
He scored 38 points on a magical 15-of-19 from the field, including five three pointers, making the rest of the perimeter quite redundant. Stephen Curry didn’t try to force his way into the game, scoring only 10 points but adding six assists, acting a lot more like an actual point guard seeing there was no need for his special skills to take control. David Lee joined Thompson in the scoring department, adding 24 points against a very soft Lakers inside, giving up 40 points in the paint while the Warriors also hit 55.6% from beyond the arc.
Andre Iguodala, like Curry, didn’t need to do much on offense to make it a memorable debut. His role has changed over the years, from high flying scorer into all-around player, first and foremost a defensive specialist. He scored only 7 points, but also added 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in a typical display, fitting quite well with the Warriors style, which was too fast and too aggressive for the very soft Lakers.
On the losing side of the road, the Lakers have serious problems, especially with their starting lineup, which looks more and more improvised with every game. Pau Gasol scored 12 points on a disappointing start to the season for him, as the very small lineups the Lakers use can’t match with most teams in the NBA due to the quality of their backcourt, especially without Nash and Bryant. Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Steve Blake shouldn’t be starters on a team trying to make the playoffs.
The Warriors will face sterner tests quite soon, and Thompson won’t be this hot every night, but the Warriors look deeper and dangerous than they were last season, even without needing the help of Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green too much.
When we are clicking, we know just how good we can be. I thought it was a thing of beauty from beginning to end. It was fun watching Klay lit up like that.