Did Harrison Barnes just play his best game ever in Kings victory over Warriors?
Wait, Andrew Wiggins DIDN'T drop 50 points on ex-Warrior "Black Falcon" last night? Oh no...
The Golden State Warriors lost to the Sacramento Kings 112-94 in a game straight out of the 2020 script: a maddening lack of firepower/defensive prowess, but plenty of feisty grit.
They trailed big early (Kings’ largest lead was 20 points), fought back valiantly in the third (cutting the deficit to 4), before finally getting outclassed in the fourth quarter. Golden State played 7 players who are in their first year with the team, with Damion Lee and Kevon Looney the only players who have experienced the dynasty days.
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out, this season is the equivalent of the Warriors front office casually perusing the condiments aisle at a supermarket the day before a big grill party. They already have their steaks and burgers (the Splash Bros + Draymond Green) but now they’re looking for the complementary sauces and toppings.
Which Golden State players demonstrated a hint of flavor last night?
Harrison Barnes bests Andrew Wiggins in battle of the outcast wings
The game within the game was the box score contest between the two most maligned small forwards in the last decade of Warriors basketball: ex-Dub Harrison Barnes and new-Dub Andrew Wiggins.
Let’s remember that the knock on Barnes towards the end of his Golden State tenure was that he was a complementary piece demanding max dollars. The Dubs let him go, picked up superstar Kevin Durant, and never looked back.
When KD left, the Warriors eventually acquired a less heralded complementary wing in Wiggins, who has max contract dollars that the Warriors declined to give HB.
Last night Barnes invaded the Chase Center and put up what I’d have to assume is the greatest game he’s ever played.
Harrison Barnes: 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting (2-of-4 from 3PT range), 2 rebounds, 1 assist.
A damned good showing from Golden State’s #7 pick of the 2012 draft. Okay and it’s not his greatest game ever, that was just some bitter hyperbole from a guy who still has nightmares about Barnes vanishing in the 2016 Finals.
I’m just especially annoyed our old friend “Black Falcon” did that while Wiggins looked EXTREMELY ordinary.
Andrew Wiggins: 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting (0-of-3 from 3PT range), 0 rebounds, 1 assist, one delicious drive on HB.
Now look, I’m not expecting Wiggins to carry this 12-win team on his own. Going back to our condiments metaphor: Wiggins is a tasty ketchup that should complement the All-Star patties we have on ice. I’m certainly not expecting ketchup alone to be a great meal.
BUT I DO EXPECT KETCHUP TO GET AT LEAST ONE REBOUND, especially since the Warriors are paying several million dollars for ketchup’s services.
Then again, HB only snatched two boards himself last night and the Warriors once won a title and 73 games with him. What was he back then, relish?
Sigh, I can’t wait till Steph comes back Sunday.
Marquese Chriss shines again
Chriss tallied up 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. He also led the Dubs in free throws attempted and made, going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Chriss was 4-of-4 from the field in the Warriors comeback effort in the third quarter. When he runs the floor hard, good things usually open up for the stagnant offense. Can you imagine his joyful pogo-sticking around the rim when the Dubs are healthy and spacing the floor out? Dunks and lobs for days.
I never thought I’d say this, but Chriss’ supreme athleticism and competitive attitude make him my most entertaining Warrior right now.
Jordan Poole’s swagger is undefeated
Poole started at point guard last night and led the team in assists (4), fouls (5), and turnovers (3). He shot 5-of-14 from the field, including a ghastly 1-of-7 from deep. He’s now shooting 26% from downtown on the season.
Every time I watch the rookie, I’m reminded of LGW’s Nate P. telling me, “He doesn’t have the green light, he’s just always running reds.”
A lot of young players don’t dare being that aggressive after suffering such frustrating early results. But Poole is fearless and hungry in a way that reminds me a tad of a rookie Kobe Bryant. Poole’s shot chart and a few highlights from last night reveal that his frustrating shooting woes aren’t neutering his aggression.
Check out how many shots the 6-foot-4 Michigan product got around the rim.
That’s effort and will to put his head down and attack like that. I especially got a kick out of watching him flex and scream after a couple And-1 scores.
Let’s Go Warriors 👌💛💙 @LetsGoWarriorsKerr on Jordan Poole: “He’s now more prepared to play this kind of role. He’s much better now than back in October, November when we were starting him out of necessity due to our injury situation.” https://t.co/NCmYVysR5h 👈 more on how JP has improved (… https://t.co/D9T92Aqomf https://t.co/Bks4EZvaAk
KEEP THAT SWAG UP YOUNG FELLA! SHOOTERS SHOOT!