It had been long time since the Warriors players had the taste of losing in their mouth — there were a couple of losses to the Cavaliers last June in the Finals, and before that you need to go back to April to find one. They were not used to it.
So how did they feel Saturday night after the Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to hand the Warriors a loss this season? They were a little dumbfounded by it. Check out their quotes, via Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.
“It’s definitely weird,” Stephen Curry said of losing. “You forget what the feeling is like. But I like how we’re handling it.”
From interim coach Luke Walton: “We didn’t have it tonight. That’s why it’s so hard to do what these guys have done so far. Tonight it caught up to us. We didn’t have our shots falling. We were a little slow on our defensive rotations. It happens. But it takes nothing away from what they did to start the season.”
“It’s disappointing because I thought we beat ourselves,” (Klay Thompson said. “(Losing) was bound to happen,” he added. “It’s unfortunate it happened tonight. But we’re going to see them again on Friday and have a nice stretch at home.”
The Warriors looked flat from the opening tip, the double overtime win over the Celtics clearly impacting them. This was the kind of off night we knew the Warriors would have eventually, and it cost them.
What matters is how they bounce back, how they play going forward. Do they have the same energy and passion? Do they keep building toward another title, or do they take their foot off the gas now and coast a little.
Cartier Martin is the definition of a fringe NBA player — he’s been with six teams in seven seasons. He’s known as a shooter who plays the three, except last season he hit just 28 percent from the field and 18 percent from three. That’s not going to get it done (especially since he’s a mediocre defender). He had a fully guaranteed contract for this season but the Pistons cut him anyway.
Martin had gone to the D-League to find his way back to the NBA, but that road just got a lot longer, via Chris Reichert of Upside and Motor.
Bill Belichick would be proud of how vague the injury description and timeline is, but this is not good for Martin, who had a long road back in the first place.
Derrick Favors is quietly having a tremendous season in Utah, averaging 17.2 points a night on 54 percent shooting, plus grabbing 8.9 boards a game. He has matured into one of the better big men in the NBA.
You don’t need to tell Oklahoma City’s Andre Roberson that, he saw it first hand.
Favors set the pick for Trey Burke then rolled down the lane, got the pass and went straight to the rim for the dunk. Everyone was late, but Roberson was under the basket and got the worst of it.
OKC went on to win a tight game 94-90 behind 24 points from Russell Westbrook.
Boston gave Golden State everything they could handle on Friday night, taking the game to double overtime before the Warriors survived with a 124-119 win to improve to 24-0 on the season. With good reason, a lot of the postgame attention went to Stephen Curry and his 38 points (on 9-of-27 shooting, Boston did a good job on him).
But Draymond Green‘s line was huge: 25 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks — a rare 5×5 game. The last person to have a 5×5 was Nicolas Batum in 2012. Green becomes only the third player in the last 40 years to have at least 20-10-5-5-5 in a game, joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Derrick Coleman.
Green knew what he had done, speaking to Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today.
“Never been part of that club,” he said, smiling that big Draymond Green smile shortly after the Golden State Warriors outlasted the Boston Celtics 124-119 in double overtime Friday as Golden State remained unbeaten at 24-0 and extended the best start to a season in NBA history.
It happened just minutes into Denver’s eventual win over Minnesota: Kenneth Faried missed a shot in close to the rim and Kevin Garnett went up and grabbed the rebound.
With that KG had 11,409 defensive rebounds and he passed Karl Malone for the NBA’s all-time lead in that category. Through his two decades in the league, Garnett has always been strong on the defensive glass, grabbing 26 percent of his rebound opportunities there.
If you’re wondering how Garnett and Malone have more defensive boards than Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell, know that the NBA didn’t start keeping the defensive rebound stat until 1974.