A great time out!
Let the (preseason) games begin.
This is the 75TH SEASON OF GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS BASKETBALL. Will Andrew Wiggins score 75 in a game to silence his naysayers? You’ll just have to tune in to find out.
Who: Golden State Warriors @ Portland Trail Blazers
When: Monday, October 4th, 2021 @ 7PM PT
How to Watch: NBA TV
How to Listen: 95.7 The Game
Warriors: Klay Thompson (out, Achilles), James Wiseman (out, knee), Gary Payton II (out, hernia).
Blazers: Tony Snell (day-to-day,foot).
A new day in Portland
The Dubs dip their toes into the season with an exhibition contest against the pesky Blazers. Portland had plenty of summer social media drama of their own with Damian Lillard trade speculation and the hiring of Chauncey Billups as head coach. Apparently Billups is currently busy bringing some fresh schemes to PDX.
Chauncey Billups’ first plan of action is changing how the Blazers defend basketball’s most-used play: the pick-and-roll.
Damian Lillard’s early review?
“I like it a lot. I like it a lot.”
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) September 29, 2021
From The Athletic’s piece on the new defensive tactics in Portland:
Billups’ first plan of action is changing how the Blazers defend basketball’s most-used play: the pick-and-roll. Billups wants the Blazers’ big men to guard the pick-and-roll at the level of the screen to help prevent the guard from penetrating. It is a more aggressive tactic than Portland employed under coach Terry Stotts, who asked the big to retreat and protect the rim, thus allowing the guard free reign to work in space
It is a drastic shift from how the Blazers approached the pick-and-roll for nine seasons under Stotts, whose pick-and-roll emphasis was to protect the rim and coax a midrange jumper. But too often, the guard wouldn’t take the midrange jumper and get all the way to the rim for a lay-in, or draw a foul on the center, or drive and kick for an open 3. The Blazers were 27th and 29th in defensive rating the past two seasons.
Damn the Blazers were THAT trash on defense the last two years? Sheesh. Maybe that’s partially the reason Stephen Curry hit them up for a career high 62-points last season.
The Blazers added some length and athleticism to their frontcourt with Larry Nance Jr. and former Warrior Marquese Chriss, the latter a gut punch for me as he was a heavily sought after target of Dub Nation during free agency. But Portland will only go as far as Lillard’s shoulders carry them. The Oakland native is entering his 9th season in Rip City, fresh off of a gold medal and some swirling exit narratives. Even though Lillard quieted the intense trade speculation, I wonder just how sure Portland fans are that Dame Time will stay in Oregon.
They really can’t afford to lose a guy this dominant. Who can?
Warriors fans don’t have to worry about losing their star guard anytime soon after Curry’s offseason extension. Although he probably won’t play big minutes in this warmup game, it’ll be good to see the best point guard alive back in action. Finally, basketball is BACK.
Steve Kerr said he anticipates all 16 available Warriors will get some amount of court time in tomorrow‘s preseason opener in Portland, including Steph Curry and Draymond Green.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 4, 2021
15th spot watch
Who gets last roster spot on Golden State? Is it Avery Bradley the veteran defensive pest? Langston Galloway the sharpshooting vet? Gary Payton II the injured defensive ballhawk? Mychal Mulder the long-range gunner? Or Jordan Bell the athletic but undersized big who once turned a Warriors championship parade into a Henny commercial?
We’ll see how Bradley’s defense does against Portland’s spicy guards like Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Anfernee Simon.
A healthy Avery Bradley is definitely the frontrunner for the Warriors’ 15th roster spot. The Dubs have set up a very intriguing training camp competition between Bradley v Galloway v Payton II v Mulder v Bell. Those 5 pre-season games will tell us a lot.pic.twitter.com/0BYhji8fJ5
— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) September 24, 2021