1) Slow starts
This game was a microcosm of the Warriors season to come. Start off slow, encounter a challenge, overcome said challenge and runaway with the win. The Spurs came out on fire. Danny Green, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Pau Gasol and Co. had energy and were hitting shots (Pau with a corner 3?!!). They pounced on a sluggish Warriors team, and it looked like the Spurs system might have the Dubs’ number for the night. But once Golden State got in a 19-point hole, they seemed to find their competitiveness. While Klay was sharp from the beginning, Steph, Draymond and KD eventually found their mojo and put away the game early. I can see the rest of the season playing out this way more or less. Hopefully they’re almost out of that “19-point hole” phase.
2) Klay’s already in midseason form
Klay Thompson is the one Warrior who has brought it every night since the first game of the season. It’s encouraging to see especially since he’s started off slowly the last 2-3 years. With a lot of the hype around Steph and KD, people forget that Klay is just entering his prime and, remarkably, he’s getting even better at what he’s good at. Some think he’s been overrated in recent years because of the Warriors’ system and because he’s been playing next to Steph for so long, but his skills on both ends of the court can’t be denied. If you’re looking for improvement from any of the Warriors four All-Stars, Klay is the one who still has a ceiling to reach. Steph and KD could be more consistent this year, but they’re pretty much where they’re supposed to be. Draymond as well, at least defensively. Klay, however, still has room to grow and appears to be making the mini-leap to grown-ass man level basketball.
3) McCaw snags the backup 2-guard spot
As I mentioned after previous games, it’s been disappointing how slowly Patrick McCaw has been coming along this season. The list of legitimate excuses applied to the team’s stars (China trip, shortened offseason, shortened training camp, etc.), can be applied to him as well. However, Kerr finally said (for now) McCaw has earned the backup shooting guard spot over Nick Young. This makes total sense and is the result many true Warriors fans were hoping for. Because of egos and the amount of money the team invested in Swaggy P, Kerr had to give him a shot. This is similar to Ty Lue giving Dwyane Wade the starting 2-guard spot on the Cavs over J.R. Smith for a few games only to have everyone realize he’s better off the bench for them. You kind of have to let things play out for a bit and let the results speak for themselves. McCaw gives the Warriors a vastly better all-around game, and while Young can get hotter from 3 than the majority of people in the league, McCaw’s shot is already pretty good and it’s getting better and quicker. He ain’t no slouch. Congrats, Pat. Now just prove you deserve it.
4) There won’t be any pouting, will there?
On that note, it’s clear both McCaw and Jordan Bell have taken minutes from Young and Javale McGee. The latter pair are really close friends and have some hilariously offbeat personalities and antics in their histories, so there is potential for voicing/showing their discontent. But I feel like the team’s dominant personalities, culture and winning ways will keep the status quo. Hopefully the two older guys don’t pout over their diminished roles. It’s not like Kerr’s playing favorites. He’s playing common sense. Who wouldn’t want to see what happens when McCaw and Bell, their two prized 2nd round #38 picks, are on the court together? The two young guys not only need to be developed, but they also already bring more to the team right now.