Warriors get their Rings, Lose Opening Night Game to Rockets 122-121
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 marked the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season. The Golden State Warriors started their season off by remembering their championship season from last year. The team got their rings, and unveiled their new banner.
The Warriors got off to a hot start, scoring 35 points in the first quarter, highlighted by Klay Thompson's 11 points and Nick Young’s 9 points. Durant and Curry totaled three points between them in the first period. The team’s highest lead of the quarter was 11 points, but the Rockets managed to hang with the team and put up 34 and keep the game close. In the second quarter, the Warriors continued to shoot the ball extremely well, and Nick Young was leading the charge with 10 more points. The team managed to grab a sizeable lead heading into the half, with the score being 71-62. In the second half, the Warriors managed to keep scoring the ball at a decent clip, but the second half saw Draymond Green leave the game with a strained knee after shooting awkwardly in the third quarter, and once he was out of the game, things started to get weird, and the lead the Warriors built quickly dissolved. It was a 12 point game at the end of the third, but the Rockets started out hot in the fourth to cut the lead to five, and managed to hang around until the end of the game, and ended up taking a one point lead in the last minute. The game ended as Kevin Durant made a shot that appeared to beat the buzzer before a replay review, but it turned out that the ball was still in his hand as the buzzer sounded, and the Warriors dropped game one to the Rockets 122-121.
There were several issues with the way Golden State played, they turned the ball over far too many times, and they found themselves in early foul trouble which messed up their rotations from the get go. The Warriors turned the ball over 17 times, and coincidentally, the Rockets ended up taking 18 more shots than Golden State. Stephen Curry got two quick fouls to start the game, and had to be closely watched for the rest of the game, as he seemed to have a quick whistle all night. I was left with several questions after this game. I don’t understand why JaVale McGee did not see the floor for a single second of game time, while Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell saw a lot of meaningful minutes. I understand giving Bell extra minutes, because he is a rookie with very high upside, and after Draymond got hurt, he was the closest thing the Warriors could get to replacing him. I do not understand why Kevon Looney saw the floor at all, especially in meaningful minutes of a close game. He was in the game and Kevin Durant was not down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Now, I understand that the rotations were messed up because of the foul trouble and injuries, but still, I do not think Kevon Looney should be in meaningful games getting meaningful minutes.
Of course this is just game one of 82, and in the end it will likely mean nothing. This is actually an improvement from last season’s opener, which saw them lose by 29 points to the San Antonio Spurs, and we ended up winning the title, so I am not worried about only losing by one point to open the season.
Some notable stats for the game came from Nick Young, lead the team in scoring with 23 points while only missing one shot, and Draymond Green, who tallied 13 assists before getting hurt in the third quarter. The Rockets benefitted from strong performances by James Harden, PJ Tucker, and Eric Gordon, who played the game of his life. Gordon dropped 24 points including a thunderous dunk on Jordan Bell.
All in all, the Warriors fell to 0-1, the Rockets rose to 1-0. The Warriors have the worst record in the NBA, savor it while it lasts. The Warriors got some beautiful rings to help ease the pain of having the worst record in the league, and the team will rebound and have a very strong regular season. Sometimes a loss to open a season can be a blessing in disguise.
The Warriors next game is on Friday, October 20 in New Orleans vs the Pelicans at 6:30 p.m.