Warriors Hand Win to Detroit, lose 115-107
The Warriors took on the Detroit Pistons at Oracle Arena to close their 3-game homestand and begin their back-to-back. The Warriors looked to carry the momentum from their recent comeback win against the Wizards and continue their winning streak, the Piston’s had just beaten the Clippers in LA, and were looking to take down another top-dog from the Western Conference.
The first quarter saw both of the Splash Bros come out scorching hot, scoring 25 of the Warriors’ 35 points. Klay Thompson was hot early, going 4-7, including 2-3 on threes, but cooled off just as Steph got hot. Steph went 6-7, including 2-2 from three. The Warriors did commit four turnovers in the quarter, but they were able to offset them with their prolific shooting. The defense looked pretty good, with players switching constantly and forcing the Pistons to shoot 40.7% for the quarter. The Warriors led after the first quarter 35-27.
The Pistons managed to make it a closer game in the second quarter, mostly due to some costly turnovers by the Warriors, who committed 11 turnovers in the half. The Warriors did continue to shoot the ball extremely well, and shot 60% in the first half, including 45.5% from three-point range. The Warriors had three players who had double digit scoring numbers in the first half, Steph, Klay, and KD. Stephen Curry ended the half with 20 points on 72.7% shooting, with KD scoring 11 and Klay scoring 13. The Warriors outrebounded the Pistons 26-19, which helped offset the 11 turnovers. The only player doing significant damage for the Pistons at half was Reggie Jackson, who had 18 points on 70% shooting, and was a big part of the Pistons keeping up with Golden State in the half. At halftime, the Warriors led the Pistons 57-52.
In the third quarter, the Warriors saw the Pistons come back and take a lead thanks to their incredibly sloppy play. By the time the third quarter ended, the Warriors had turned the ball over 18 times, and because of that, the Pistons shot the ball 17 more times than the Warriors. The Warriors still shot 61% from the field to this point, but they allowed far too many points off turnovers, which allowed the Pistons to take a lead. Steph leads all scorers with 27 points, and this quarter saw his free throw streak end at 52 straight. The Pistons led after three quarters, 82-81.
While the Warriors did make a run at the win in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter, their play in the second half was far too sloppy to get a win, it just wasn’t going to happen. Any time that you commit 25 turnovers, you are going to lose. The fourth quarter did see KD get blisteringly hot, but it was ultimately not enough, as every time the Warriors looked to get something going, they would either commit a dumb foul or turn the ball over with a sloppy pass. The Pistons scored more than 30 of their points off of turnovers, which goes to show that if the Warriors were able to play a full game without all the sloppiness on the offensive end, they would win handedly every time. In the final quarter, Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 28 points, and looked completely dominant, but as the quarter was ending, he was not given as many opportunities as Steph and Klay, which I understand, but ultimately, you should ride the hot hand as much as possible. The Warriors lost to the Pistons, 115-107.
My main takeaways from this game is that the Warriors are still getting used to their offensive rotations, and are relying on individual talent to beat teams early in the year. This is to be expected, especially after their trip to China to end the preseason, but their sloppiness on both sides of the ball can be troublesome. They do not play great perimeter defense, and often times they allow wide open looks from three point range. The Pistons style of play is much different than the Warriors, they like to run their offense with a slower pace, and the Warriors like to score fast, often, and efficiently, which they were able to do tonight, but their turnovers were too much to overcome.
I am not going to put too much stock in the early season losses for the Warriors, because they have added several new pieces to the team, and are still working on rotations and playing time. They are also doing better than the Cavaliers are, which isn’t saying a whole lot because they Cavaliers have been absolutely terrible to open the season, but it makes me feel better because they will likely meet in the NBA finals. The Warriors are still the best team in the NBA, and will eventually work their issues out, these losses can simply be categorized as growing pains.
Some stats that stood out from the game tonight are that the Warriors did shoot 57.1% as a team, which is always a good thing, and most of time is good enough to win a game handedly. Another thing that stood out was that the combination of KD, Steph, and Klay scored 84 of the teams’ 115 points. Draymond Green has shot the ball at a 37.5 clip to start the season, and has shot 25% from three. This simply is not good enough, and while he has played great defense, he will need to step up his game on offense for the Warriors to truly improve. He has averaged 3.7 turnovers per game, and KD has averaged 4.3 a game. They both have been a big reason for the turnover problems, but I do not see the problem lasting for the whole year.
The Warriors were simply too sloppy to get the win tonight. While they did shoot 57.1% from the field, they also turned the ball over 25 times, and allowed more than 30 points off of those turnovers.
The Warriors’ next game is on Monday, October 30, in Los Angeles versus the Clippers. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.