LOS ANGELES – The Warriors lost out on Tuesday night against Stephen Curry and Draymond Green against the Lakers. It’s good that this is a preseason.
Golden State won their fourth preseason win for their starless squad against the Lakers’ trio of superstars who made their debut together. Six Warriors scored double digits en route to a 111: 99 victory at the Staples Center.
More importantly, Coach Steve Kerr and staff took a close look at the players vying for rotation minutes and squad spots.
Before Tuesday’s game, Avery Bradley was honored to be a member of the 2020 NBA Lakers Champion. But almost everyone else fought for a reserve spot in the Golden State backcourt, which benefited from the absence of Curry and Green.
Damion Lee started instead of Curry and was one of the most active players all night. He dropped 16 points and captured nine boards. Everyone in the arena felt the presence of Gary Payton II after his third one-handed slam dunk in the first half.
Payton is known for his defense as is Bradley, but he showed impressive off-ball movement that resulted in one of his three bouncing hits from Bjelitz after he cut through the paint. He finished with 12 points in his first playing time in preseason after returning from hernia surgery.
“I love rewarding Damion. He’s got a great camp, ”Kerr said ahead of Tuesday’s game. “He’s the guy on our team that we take for granted. He’s such a pro. Such a solid player. It’s ready every night, whether I play it for 20 minutes or not at all. ”
Jordan Poole took the lead of all scorers for the third time in four preseason games with 18 points. Otto Porter Jr. joined Lee with 16 points and Andrew Wiggins joined Payton with 12. Nemanja Bjelica also had 10 points and five rebounds.
Spotlight on Moses Moody
Teammates describe Moses Moody’s first-round peak as a quiet guy. But he quickly realizes what the center of attention is.
Under the glare of the Staples Center, Moody saw his most playing time of the preseason – and his most intimidating matches. Moody caught up with Russell Westbrook in defense and even outplayed Anthony Davis, turning the basket into free throws. On offense, Moody missed all six field attempts; his best moment came when he sent the ball rebound to Nemanje Bjelice from a corner trap and Belica brought him home in 2.
Kerr said that Moody suffered from poor shooting choices and never got into an offensive rhythm.
“I thought he was a little out of sorts,” Kerr said later. “So far, things have been going very well for him. Just a stumbling block. There is not a single newbie who plays every game perfectly. ”
Moody proved to be a serious threat from the outside (5-9 in four preseason games after 0-2 on Tuesday), but his intangibles were the most impressed. This was best seen in Golden State’s first preseason match against the Lakers when he helped box Dwight Howard.
Draymond Greene said he had a “Oh, shoot” moment when he saw Moody check Howard’s hand 6-9 in paint. (Except that Green didn’t say shoot; you can guess.)
“It gives you an idea of who he is,” Green said ahead of Tuesday’s game.
For a rookie to be able to rotate, Kerr simply needs to understand Golden State’s defensive concepts.
“Clearly this is a guy beyond his years in terms of his awareness, his feeling for the game, his confidence,” Kerr said ahead of Tuesday’s game. “He’s doing his best for a spot on the rotation.”
This is just a preseason, but the Warriors had some encouraging signs. At the top of the list, they faced a full-fledged Lakers squad of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis without the top two.
But it should also be noted that Golden State made only 11 out of 49 attempts out of 3 (22.4%), which is the worst in the preseason.
It’s no secret that the Warriors are planning to score three-pointers this season. But they may not rely on a long ball.
Kerr said it was not so much about hitting as about possession. Golden State had another positive yield differential, 20-12, and a 29-bucket aid. Even when the deep ball did not fall, the Warriors could produce other blows.
In the absence of an effective shooting in the first three games, Kerr was particularly encouraged by turnover and assists.
The Warriors’ best basketball came in a timeout in the middle of the third quarter.
Kent Basemore shot a three-pointer, extending the Lakers’ lead to 70-59, and Kerr called for a time-out.
After the break, Golden State played an effective 21: 3 streak, which ended with an interception by Andre Iguodala.
In the first half, the Warriors hit a double-digit gap, but won back 3 points during the break.
It wasn’t just Moody; Kerr said he didn’t like the entire team’s shooting choices in the first half.