Iguodala clampdown leads Warriors to victory
ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors’ 94-81 win over the Sacramento Kings made a couple things very clear: Andre Iguodala can do it all, and Kent Bazemore still isn’t ready.
Sparked by a defensive attack from Iguodala, Golden State took control of the game in the final frame after scraping by in the first three quarters of their second exhibition matchup Monday.
Coach Mark Jackson said he was impressed with the end-of-game defense that gave a glimpse of what’s to come this season:
“If you can take care of the basketball and defend that way you’re going to have a chance every night.”
There were a few highlights here and there: Alley-oops from Stephen Curry to Iguodala, Curry to Klay Thompson, and a nice block from Bogut. But this is preseason, the veterans and stars are going to shine.
What stood out more was the crowd’s reaction to players who just aren’t ready.
Receiving a roaring ovation from the crowd as he checked in, Kent Bazemore showed off his flaws. “He loves to score,” Jackson said of Bazemore in Las Vegas. In Summer League, that was fine because Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, and David Lee weren’t there.
But on a team with so much scoring depth on the perimeter, there’s no need for Bazemore to haul up three pointers every chance he gets, or drive into defense with no regard for who is open outside. But he did.
Not only did Bazemore’s gameplay seem selfish, but it came after the perfect example of unselfish basketball: Iguodala had a great look at an open three but instead passed to the ball to Curry, who knocked home a three from beyond the arc.
The crowd took to their feet again when Seth Curry checked into the game to play along side his brother. Enjoy it while you can Warriors fans, because if it comes down to Cameron Jones or the younger Curry for the final guard position, Jones will have the spot.
Jones proved himself an asset in Vegas, and was underestimated by the Kings defense Monday. Jackson said Jones is confident and is proving that he is supposed to be in the NBA:
“He’s a guy that deserves the opportunity to be in this camp and an opportunity to make this team and I’m happy that he’s on this team right now and playing well. Another win for the good guys.”
Though both coaches were diplomatic about the situation, it was hard to ignore the ties that the Warriors and Kings share.
The Kings’ principal owner, Vivek Ranadive (whose birthday was Monday night), was a minority owner of the Warriors until he bought the Kings earlier this year, and Kings head coach Michael Malone spent the last two years as Mark Jackson’s lead assistant.
Warriors legend Chris Mullin is now an advisor for the Kings, and Sacramento’s general manager Pete D’Alessandro was once Golden State assistant GM. If that wasn’t enough, former Warrior Carl Landry is now a part of the Kings roster.
Though it has all the makings of a NorCal rivalry, coach Jackson said he’s happy for Malone and the others in Sacramento and wishes them well in everything they do.
While Malone agreed with Jackson, he also said being back at Oracle wasn’t anything special, but was an opportunity to play against a good team and get better:
“This is just another day.”
The Warriors visit the Jazz in Utah Tuesday before heading to China for exhibition games against the Lakers in Beijing Oct. 15 and in Shanghai Oct. 18. Tip-off for both games is at 4:30 a.m. San Francisco time.