Stephen Curry’s return was everything.
As Joe Vardon wrote for The Athletic, this game felt like a milestone marker because of what Curry’s first game since October of 2019 means. All those little Eric Paschall plays, the Wiggins cuts, Damian Lee’s newly discovered play making and assertive offense - they all mean something a little different now that our top end talent is back. It’s not longer looking at young, developing NBA players, now we see them as part of a meaningful basketball rotation with a path to a championship.
None of this felt possible without Curry, because it wasn’t. The frame shifts fundamentally.
The next phase of the rebuild began with Curry’s return.“It feels like we’ve kind of emerged from the woods a little bit,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
The next phase of the rebuild began with Curry’s return.
“It feels like we’ve kind of emerged from the woods a little bit,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
This is the sort of competitive and punchy team that many of us predicted the Golden State Warriors were going to be when the season opened. Sure, they lost. And yes, the team shot a depressingly familiar 14 of 51 on three-pointers. But it was a lot of fun, and the Warriors were in this game until the final minute or so.
Though he was clearly rusty (6-16 from the field, 3-12 from behind the arc) Curry did a little bit of everything to finish with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. His return was both an emotional and a statistical lift. Not only was this Warriors team more competitive and focused, everything just feels different with Curry back in the fold.
March 6th 2020
Warriors had some good contributions from Marquese Chriss, who continues to cement a starting role with the team for next season. He had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists but the bigger takeaway was how much of a problem he can be for defenses. The Warriors discovered this with JaVale McGee, but an athletic Center that knows how to play above the rim is going to get a lot of very good looks with the attention that Curry draws.
And then, there was this enormous block (which almost looks like goaltending):
One of the key factors coming in to this game was how well Andrew Wiggins would look next to Curry - a player who almost always gives a big boost to whoever finds themselves on the court with him. Wiggins was solid defensively, and looks to be exactly the sort of fall back option that could thrive alongside the gravity of Curry.
Unfortunately the Raptors had plenty of counters.
Norman Powell set a new career high with 37 points, Kyle Lowry played his usual white-knuckled style on his way to 26 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds, and young power player Pascal Siakam took over late.
As usual, this is just a little placeholder article and a place for us to chat. Let’s Go Warriors will be back tomorrow with a full recap and all sorts of histrionics about the return of Threesus.
37 points 13/20 FGs 4/8 three pointers 7/7 FTs
3 rebounds 2 assists 3 turnovers 3 steals
26 points 6/14 FGs 4/12 three pointers 10/10 FTs
5 rebounds 10 assists 3 turnovers 2 steals
Ibaka: (-2, 3rd place)
13 points 6/11 FGs 1/3 three pointers
13 rebounds (1 off.) 3 assists 1 block
Anunoby: (+11, 3rd place)
14 points 5/7 FGs 3/4 three pointers 1/2 FTs
4 rebounds (2 off.) 3 steals
10 points 3/7 FGs 1/3 three pointers 3/3 FTs
2 rebounds 4 assists 2 turnovers
16 points 6/10 FGs 1/4 three pointers 3/4 FTs
4 rebounds 8 assists 3 turnovers
23 points 8/17 FGs 5/12 three pointers 2/4 FTs
5 rebounds 3 assists 2 turnovers 1 steal
Curry: (-13, 3rd place)
23 points 6/16 FGs 3/12 three pointers 8/8 FTs
7 rebounds 7 assists 1 turnover
Wiggins: (-11, 3rd place)
21 points 9/20 FGs 3/9 three pointers 0/1 FT
9 rebounds (5 off.) 2 assists 2 turnovers 1 block
17 points 6/14 FGs 0/1 three pointer 5/6 FTs
12 rebounds (5 off.) 4 assists 1 turnover 1 steal 2 blocks
48.2% shooting (40/83 FGs)
13/41 three pointers
39 rebounds (3 off.)
40.8% shooting (40/98 FGs)
14/52 three pointers
52 rebounds (14 off.)
Points in paint:
Points off turnovers: