Young Warriors Take Loss to Memphis

Cassie KoliasCorrespondent INovember 8, 2008

Marcus Williams made his first appearance this season with the Warriors, and it wasn’t all too impressive. On the flip side, 19-year-old rookie small forward Anthony Randolph made his NBA debut, and it was impressive.

The Golden State Warriors surrendered the lead in the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. And they never recovered, en route to a 104-109 loss at Oracle Arena.

Fans left disappointed in the last 10 seconds, as the Warriors almost made a comeback in the fourth quarter with a little over five minutes remaining but failed to do so.  

Williams made appearances in the second and third quarter, going 0-for-3 in just under 10 minutes. Not an ideal performance for most, but Williams still remained optimistic.  

“It was a little different,” Williams said. “I got used to the speed and I felt pretty good, it was my first appearance.”

Randolph made his debut and scored eight points with seven rebounds and his first pro block, rejecting Memphis’ star forward Rudy Gay in the second quarter.

“He (Randolph) will be a terrific player someday,” coach Don Nelson said. “He’s too young, but he had some nice moments.”

The Warriors stayed in the lead for most of the first half and showed a lot of energy on the court. But the game went south in the second half, as the Warriors gave up the lead to the Grizzlies and were consistently lagging behind them.  

“There was good energy,” Nelson said. “I have no complaints about that.”  

Sure, the energy was good. It just wasn’t enough to pull off a win, which could have been their second consecutive win, and they haven’t yet succeeded in doing yet this season.  

“Rebounding cost us the game,” Nelson said.  

With the Warriors being one the youngest team in the NBA, it might be easy to blame their losses on the youth card, but there could be a lot of potential in the 20-somethings currently holding positions on the roster, many of them making their first start or first appearance last night, thanks in part to injuries.

Forward Al Harrington didn’t appear, due to back spasms, and forward Corey Maggette didn’t suite up for the second consecutive game, due to a strained hamstring. So, three of the five men on the court were starting for the first time this season, Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson, and Brandan Wright.

The Grizzlies, also an extremely young team, won the battle of the youth for this game and Monday night’s game, when the Warriors also lost to Memphis, 90-79.   

“They played tough, they were scrappy,” Williams said. “(The Grizzlies) made a lot of shots and played great defense.”