Spooky season was in full effect Halloween night at Oracle for Anthony Davis and the visiting Pelicans.
The Oakland confines were converted into a proverbial haunted house as the Warriors (8-1) slashed New Orleans (4-3), 131-121.
No matter where the Pelicans turned, they ran headfirst into the serial killers that inhabit the Warriors jerseys.
Durant said that it’s expected at this point for Curry to continue to play at this level:
“I got high expectations for him so I expect him to play this well. I’m not saying the numbers, have 37 a game. But his efficiency I expect him to do that everyday because he works at it and he wants it. That probably is taking him for granted.”
But it was Draymond Green who might have struck the most fear in the Pelicans. He finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
Steve Kerr felt that Green had a huge impact all game long:
“I thought he was probably the best player on the floor tonight. I know other players had some big point totals and all that, but this was not a very clean game for us, and when the games gets a little grimy, it seems to be when Draymond’s at his best. … He came through in a big way.”
Green has been on a roll of late, averaging 10 assists over the last five games, and has finished with double-digit assists in three of those games.
Curry said the key for him is always just being himself:
“He didn’t change his name and he’s still Draymond Green, number 23 for the Warriors. You never worry about him finding a way to impact the game, if he’s making or missing shots, whatever. He always gets timely stops, he’s talking and the emotional leader. Just like with Klay shooting the basketball, you never worry about Draymond getting implemented into that all-around game that helps us get wins.”
His shot has also come around — he was 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3 Wednesday — and he’s shooting almost 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3 over the last five game span.
Kerr said he’s handled his emotions better this season:
“He’s such an emotional player and person that there’s been times in his career where he’s had these big swings in emotion from one game to the next. But I think he’s been very consistent with his effort and play through some of the bad spells that in the past may have gotten him down a little bit. And that’s really important for our team, because in a lot of ways we’re only as good as Draymond is.”
It’s a welcome sign after he struggled with his stroke for much of the year last season. He is also shooting the ball far less than he has the last five seasons.
Through Golden State’s first nine games, he’s averaging just 6.4 field goal attempts — over three shots less than his average over the last five years, 9.3. In face you have to go all the way back to Green’s sophomore season to see him average less attempted field goals with 5.6.
While his offensive efficiency spikes up, his defense continues to hover around spectacular.
Green along with the Warriors rotation of bigs held Anthony Davis to just 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. The numbers look better than the really are as the last five points all came in semi-garbage time.
Klay Thompson sans headband regressed from his 14 3-point performance in Chicago. He still had 18 but had just one shot fall from beyond the arc. Jonas Jerebko and Andre Iguodala picked up Thompson though, as they shot a combined 4-of-8 from deep.
For Iguodala it was his first 3’s of the season after he has struggled to get his shot to fall.
But for Jerebko, it was just another normal outing as he continues to pay major dividends for the Warriors with 10 points and two 3’s. He also showed off his improving defense with a chasedown block and an overplay of the passing lane that led to an easy layup.
He also had the highlight of the night with a steal and behind-the-back pass for an easy Durant dunk. It’s easy to see why Jerebko is becoming something of a cult hero in Oakland.
It’s this added depth that has the Warriors rolling out of the gate.
But Green said it’s also a different feel and mindset:
“It feels way different. It’s more enjoyable. Last year I think we went into the season with the wrong mindset. … Every team’s going through an 82-game grind and as opposed to embracing it we were just like, ‘let’s just get through this and get to the playoffs.’ And it felt that way. … Now we’re embracing this process to win a championship and not trying to skip the process.”
That coupled with Curry’s superhuman start has left their opponents no choice but to pick their poison with what to stop. And it’s already left a trail of helpless victims in their wake.
The Minnesota Timberwolves come to town Friday, fresh off an incredible 50-point performance from the resurrected Derrick Rose.
With the win the Warriors have now won the last seven home games on Halloween, with their last one coming in 2000. The other five wins came in 1985, 1981, 1979, 1972 and 1967. … Damian Jones had his fourth-year team option picked up Tuesday, locking in the Warriors starting center for the 2019-20 season. The 23-year old is averaging 6.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his first year with a consistent role.