Winners and Losers from Golden State Warriors' Week 3 of NBA Preseason
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden State Warriors have returned from their stop on the NBA global tour and set themselves up to answer the final questions in Week 3 of the NBA preseason. The team has looked better in parts, but the players haven’t displayed their true regular-season form.
This week is absolutely crucial for the players on the back-end of the roster. Has Seth Curry done enough to hold a roster spot, or will the Warriors demote him to their Santa Cruz D-League affiliate?
None of the lower-end bench guys were able to show their wares in the game against the Sacramento Kings on October 23. They were seated for the entire game, leaving management’s decision based on what they have seen in limited game action and practice.
The starters received their allotment of minutes and showed they could excel when paired together. Klay Thompson was exceeding expectations again, and he is probably the most game-ready for the season.
With the regular season staring the Dubs in the face, let’s take a look at who the winners and losers are from the third week of action.
Winner: Klay Thompson
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Klay Thompson is continuing his rampage in a fight to keep the position that he wrestled out of Monta Ellis’ hands. He will be the starting shooting guard and an even more dangerous Splash Brother this season.
Klay hit his three-pointers and occasionally drove to the basket in racking up back-to-back 16-point games. He also had four assists in the game against the Sacramento Kings, which shows he is trying to diversify his outputs.
If Klay can get to the free-throw line with some consistency—meaning he can shoot at least two or three free throws a game—he will be transitioning to the next level.
Winner: Steph Curry
Steph Curry started the week out with great news, as he was able to adjust to his real time zone and earned the sixth spot on this year’s #NBARank. He followed that news with a typical Curry-type performance against the Sacramento Kings with 24 points.
He looks ready to go for the season opener, and he is even bringing the defense. Against the Kings, he had three steals, two rebounds and even a block.
Winner: Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut was finally able to play his style of game against the Sacramento Kings on October 23. He got into skirmishes with center DeMarcus Cousins and stayed on the court.
As you can remember, Bogut left the game in Shanghai, China with back spasms. He downplayed the problem and proved it was behind him with solid play.
He scored 12 points, ripped down seven boards and had four assists in 29 minutes versus the northern rival. He did not have a chance to shoot a free throw in either game this week.
He is ready to go when the season starts on October 30 for the Warriors, and he will remember that he has no restrictions.
Loser: David Lee
David Lee had a tooth issue that sidelined him against the Portland Trail Blazers.
As a result of the tooth incident, Lee sat out the final preseason game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The team could have used his offense and rebounding skills, as the Warriors mailed it in during the second half.
Is his defense improved?
Loser: Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is still out with the foot inflammation issue, and it has prevented him from playing since the second preseason game. He is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, but he has not had time to get used to his new teammates.
He is also losing out in the battle for one of the starting spots, as Klay Thompson has performed above expectations and Andre Iguodala is playing at a consistent level. He will mostly likely be stationed as the sixth man, and he will have to quickly adapt to that role.
Barnes will need to bring the energy in his new position. If he is hobbled by the ongoing foot inflammation, he won’t be able to perform as expected.
Loser: The Warriors' Second-Half Performances
The Golden State Warriors had two possible wins this week, but they let both games slip out of their control. Their play may have been a result of having to travel to Japan and China, then coming back to play on back-to-back nights the following week.
The Warriors had a large lead against the Sacramento Kings, but they were outscored 21-9 in the final quarter. Against the Trail Blazers, the Warriors failed to give a solid effort in the third quarter by losing the segment by a score of 25-9.
The Dubs need to adjust and get acclimated quickly, as the team opens the season at home on October 30 versus their biggest rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. The team cannot afford to put out such a minimal effort once the regular season begins.