photo from sfgate.com: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots in front of Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Oklahoma City.
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, smarting from a blowout loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers last Thursday night, were hammered by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday by a score of 120-92. Also, the game was not as close as the final score might indicate. The Warriors trailed by 33 at the end of the first half 70-37. Stephen Curry was the only Warrior in double figures with ten.
The Thunder increased the lead to 37 at the end of the third quarter 105-68. The Warriors outscored the Thunder 24-15 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
The Warrior fans have to be concerned this team may not be good enough to make the playoffs. Head coach Steve Kerr and his staff know that it will take six to eight weeks to see where this team will be going. Right now, the Warriors are not playing defense. They have two centers out with injury. Willia Cauley-Stein has an ankle injury and may miss another week before returning to action.
Kevon Looney is seeing a neurologist to determine why he is having neuropathic pain in his leg. His return is unknown. Alen Smailagic, the big center from Serbia, also has an ankle injury. He is making progress, but no one knows when he will play. Also, the offense needs to get better.
The role players such as rookie Jordan Poole and third-tear player Damian Lee are going to have to put more points on the board. Jacob Evans has to step up and assume the role that Shaun Livingston had in the past five seasons. The W’s need to have better ball movement. They recorded 17 assists in the game.
They were making 30 or more in the glory years. Failure to move the ball allows opposing defenses to double team Steph Curry. If Curry is double-teamed, that frees up a shooter, and the role players are going to have to step up and make the shots. Failure to do is costing the Warriors to win.
The Warriors also have nine new players on the roster. D’Angelo Russell scored just six points in Sunday’s game. He was ejected in the third period for arguing with a referee. The Warriors need him to help fill the void created by Kevin Durant’s departure and Klay Thompson’s injury. Glenn Robinson III had just 3 points in Sunday’s game. Alec Burks is scheduled to return, and that may help the Warriors put some points on the board.
The Warriors shot 32.6% from the floor. They made 5 threes in 31 tries while the Thunder countered with 15 threes. The Warriors had three players in double figures. Curry had 23, Draymond Green 10, and rookie Eric Paschall also kicked in with 10. The Thunder had five players in double figures.
Dennis Schroeder, coming off the bench, led the Thunder with 22. Danilo Gallinari had 21, Terrance Ferguson 13, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 19, and the veteran point guard Chris Paul added 10. The Thunder shot 55.7% from the floor. They outrebounded the Warriors 50-40.
The Warriors play their first back-to-back game Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Game time at 5:00 p.m. PT. Steve Kerr will be doing everything he can to have his team ready to win their first game of the year.