Well, first off, I'd like to apologize for the lack of posting here at The Warriors Rundown over the last month or so. We've been so wrapped up with our other Bay Area sites with the Giants pennant race and eventual World Championship as well as the 49ers brilliant start to their season. However, the NBA season has officially begun, and 'The Rundown' is officially back!
So, the Dubs are two games into this 2012-13 campaign, and so far I haven't seen much that I wasn't expecting. They went into Phoenix on openeing night and knocked off an improving Suns team, though it was hardly a textbook victory and the Warriors have much higher expectations than Phoenix for this season, a win's a win. The Warriors got nice outputs from the bench, namely the newcomers Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack, to help overcome horrendous nights from Steph Curry and David Lee to help the Warriors pull out the narrow victory in the desert. After inking his 4 year, $44M extension to stay with Golden State, Curry went out and laid an egg on opening night, shooting just 2-14 from the field and finishing with nearly as many turnovers as points. Lee just had a bad shooting night (2-16) but did help in other areas with 9 boards and 3 assists. The guy I was most curious to watch in this one though was Andrew Bogut, who suited up for the first time as a Warrior, and contributed plenty in his 18 minutes on the floor. He had 8 points, 6 boards, an assist and a block. All in all, it wasn't as crisp a showing that Mark Jackson was hoping for, but again, a win on the road on opening night is tough to complain about.
The Warriors home opener at The Oracle Friday night didn't go quite as well. Right off the bat, they lost one of their star bench players, and a guy that's supposed to help out at SF with the rookie Harrison Barnes, as Brandon Rush tore his MCL and was ruled out for the season Saturday. It was an awkward landing for Rush after Zack Randolph made contact with him in the air, and the first thought I just knew it was serious after the way Rush was reacting. I was hoping for maybe a sever sprain, but the MRI showed ligament damage, and so goes B-Rush for the season. After Rush went down, the Dubs were just never able to quite keep up with Memphis, who has rounded into one of the better teams in the West. Golden State did get a great bounce back performance out of Steph Curry, who scored 26 points and dished out 7 assists, but the Warriors had trouble with turnovers and had no answer for Marc Gasol in the middle. Bogut had a nice start to the game, blocking a shot and drawing a few charges early, but again, his time constraints prevented him from contributing on a higher scale. Until Bogut is ready to play his 30+ minutes a night, the Warriors need to have Festus Ezieli and Andris Biedrins provide quality minutes, at least on defense, but they just didn't get that Friday.
The Dubs have the quick turnaround with a big game vs. the impressive LA Clippers Saturday night, which should provide even a tougher challenge than Memphis did. And with Brandon Rush done, it may be time to throw Barnes into the fire and give him 25-30 minutes Saturday. We haven't seen him do too much yet, as his time has been limited, but he has shown flashes of being a potent scorer and this could be a perfect time to unleash the talented rook. This will also be a big test for Steph Curry and his ankles as he goes up against the most shifty point guard in the NBA. I know it's tremendously early, but this game could tell us a lot about what to expect from the Warriors this season and whether or not they're ready to take that next step.