Stumbling Warriors still seeking their way
ORACLE ARENA — Preseason wrapped up in lackluster fashion Thursday night with the Warriors losing to the Trail Blazers 90-74.
After leading by as much as 11 in the first half , Golden State — with most of the starters on the floor — gave up a 22-4 Portland run to start the second half and shot just 15.4 percent in the third quarter.
After two consecutive nights of sloppy second-half basketball cemented a 3-4 preseason record, Warriors coach Mark Jackson was disappointed:
“I’m not going to tolerate that type of basketball whether its preseason, practice, no matter what because that’s how you develop bad habits. That’s unacceptable.”
Jackson’s roster rotation did not go as planned Thursday, since two of his top players watched from the bench.
David Lee sat out after undergoing dental work on his two front teeth knocked loose by an elbow from Patrick Patterson in Sacramento Wednesday. Harrison Barnes remained out with a left foot injury that may shelve him in the season opener.
By the mid third-quarter Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal had five and four fouls respectively. If the bigs continue to round up fouls, keeping 7-foot Dewayne Dedmon would add extra firepower and fouls in the paint.
Coach Jackson said a decision on the final roster position can be expected in the coming days. Jackson told SFBay that roster decisions are a tough part of the business:
“I’ll talk to our guys when we leave here and then we’ll move forward with the best decision for this basketball team. All of those guys have been great and have earned a right to be in this league.”
With every game, the impact Andre Iguodala is going to make on both ends of the floor becomes clearer. It was on display with 6:32 left in the game when Iguodala stole the ball and flew by the defense down the floor for a ferocious dunk.
Iguodala said the identity of the team — when the ball isn’t going in the basket — will be the most important thing moving forward:
“That’s going to be our Achilles’ heel. When we’re not making the shot, how do we defend? What’s our personality going to be?”
The Warriors’ younger players flashed glimpses of their potential Thursday, including strong moves from Nedovic and the continuing maturity of Draymond Green.
Early in the second quarter, Nedovic weaved the ball around the defense then laid in a teardrop floater to extend the Warriors lead.
Later in the game, Nedovic was driving into paint and took a hard hit from Mo Williams as he went up. He was visibly shaken after the play and though he said he could stay in, Jackson made the decision to bring him out.
Green finished the night scoreless but impressed in other stat columns including two steals. With his first steal of the night, Green led a fast break trailed by two defenders and Klay Thompson. Instead a rushed layup, Green zipped a no-look pass to Thompson for a two-hand slam and a roaring frenzy from 18,307 announced Oracle fans.
Next up, the NBA regular season. The Warriors open at Oracle Wednesday, trying to best their 47 2012-13 wins starting with the Los Angeles Lakers.