1) Looking like themselves
The Denver Nuggets are one of those popular young up-and-coming teams that prognosticators think will break through in the next couple years. Nikola Jokic is a beast, and he’s surrounded by a bunch of young athletic wings who can shoot. The Warriors caught them on the second night of a back-to-back (and their second back-to-back of the week), so they were likely the more fatigued squad, but it’s still good to see the Dubs impose their will on a team and remind them who’s block it is.
Steph Curry did Steph Curry things, getting a couple 4-point plays and generally giving the Denver crowd a pretty good show. It seems like the Warriors wait for a challenge to snap them out of whatever haze they’re in before putting their collective foot down. They had and lost a big lead before they came out in the third quarter and put an end to Denver’s hopes and dreams. It’s always good to put a dominant win like this in the head of a young team that you might see in the playoffs in the next year or two. They’ll always have this beatdown in the backs of their minds to put a hiccup in their confidence.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors ripped off a 20-3 streak.
2) Will Barton “owns” the Warriors
I don’t know what it is about Will Barton, but he always plays well against the Warriors. Why haven’t the Cavs, Spurs, Clippers, Rockets or Thunder tried everything to get this guy over the years? He’s automatic against the Dubs.
3) Again, that all-world garbage time lineup
I’ve referenced how good the Warriors garbage time lineup is. This time instead of Javale McGee, Kerr had an activated Kevon Looney out there with Nick Young, Patrick McCaw, Jordan Bell and Omri Casspi. That’s a team I’d actually tune in to watch no matter what the score. Two excellent prospects, one of the more exciting streak shooters in the league, another vet who can light it up from deep, and a Rudy-like redemption underdog story.
4) Is Patrick McCaw explosive?
I’m not sure how explosive McCaw is. He’s quick and he has long strides, but when he gets around the basket, he doesn’t seem to have that burst a lot of the more athletic guys in the league have. Maybe he’s trying to finesse it, maybe he’s trying to be clever or avoid contact, but I’d love to see him go up strong and throw one down hard just to prove he can do it. He’s one of my favorite players to follow because he was such a steal of a pick. I, like so many other fans, have become invested in his narrative and development. I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing how his game evolves during the season, and I do have a feeling come playoff time, his role will be significantly larger.