Golden State Warriors Fall To Sacramento Kings, 116-97

The Warriors take on their northern California rivals, sporting their new away jerseys for the first time.

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Rebounding Woes In More Detail

Marcus Thompson gives in detail how badly the Warriors struggled on the glass:

The Warriors had a difficult time boxing out the Kings’ active big men, who looked a step quicker and a tad hungrier. Rookie center DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes. Forward Omri Casspi had nine rebounds off the bench.

The Kings’ 21 second-chance points helped them overcome the 21 turnovers that the Warriors forced.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Jeff Adrien, training camp invitee looking to fill out the 15th spot on the squad who I thought was going to be the Warriors version of Paul Milsap (defensively) only registered one rebound in 15 minutes of action.


Inexperience Or Lack of Scoring Power On Second Unit Cause For Concern

Adam Lauridsen of the San Jose Mercury Warriors Blog, Fast Break, writes that last night’s game revealed some possible red flags beyond it’s front five:

What gave me pause, however, was how badly the team struggled to score when the second team came in and Reggie Williams couldn’t get it going. Of the 10 non-starters on the roster, only Williams and Radmanovic have any record of being consistent offensive threats (and even their records are undeveloped and spotty, respectively). Wright could be an offensive option, but he was a DNP-CD against the Kings and has looked out of sync in his prior two appearances. Given the limited firepower past the front five, the team needs either steady production from both Williams and Radmanovic or a big night from one of them.

Lauridsen also offers up some alternatives of what to do with this loose set of rotation players without clearly defined roles in order to shore up this lack of scoring power.


Poor Rebounding Plagues Warriors In Loss

After rebounding well in their first preseason meeting, the Warriors were out-hustled by the Kings on the boards, statistical evidence of how the Warriors may have lost this game says the Palo Alto Daily News. How bad was it, asks the Palo Alto Daily News:

“[t]he next -highest rebounders were forward Vladimir Radmanovic and point guard Stephen Curry with five each. Golden State was outrebounded 46-33.”


Brandan Wright Wants To Play, But Lacking the Opportunities Or Position

Warriors coach Keith Smart, reports Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, is limiting Wright’s minutes right now for precautionary reasons:

“The biggest thing is that the kid has been out a long time, and basketball-wise he hasn’t had a chance to play,” Smart said. “I’ve got to be cautious with him and let him get some good practices under his belt and not put him in for spot time in games.”

Smart is well aware of Wright’s injury-history but is a possible subtext Wright’s lack of position on a squad loaded at PF?


Preseason Game #3: Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings, 7PM

Aside from the location, you would think that this game was a re-run. For Warrior fans, you hope that it is.

Defensive prowess and rebounding (and injuries to some Sacramento Kings big men) helped the Warriors take this first match-up of northern California rivals.  In their nine point victory two nights ago, the Warriors held the Kings to 34% shooting and forced them into 15 turnovers. The Warriors didn't fare much better, shooting a clip above 41% and a horrendous 3-20 from three-point territory.

But the fact that the Warriors were able to out-rebound a team that once had much more height and length shows that maybe this rebuilt Warriors team may actually be entertaining and competitive.

The Kings were not a good team last year -- coming out hot only to hit a funk when their roster was hit with injuries to some key players as well as experience and inconsistency.  So, we should probably take these games with a grain of salt as they try to improve on their consistency from young and talented cornerstone pieces like Omri Casspi and Jason Thompson.

But the most important stat from their first game of consequence to this re-do was Jeff Adrien's defensive and offensive potential, captured by Marcus Thompson's rundown of the Warriors from the San Jose Mercury News:

Enter Jeff Adrien, a 6-foot-7, 243-pound rookie power forward. He had 11 points and 15 rebounds (seven offensive) in Sunday's exhibition win over Sacramento. What's more, he was physical, relentless and defensive-minded.

"That guy gets your attention in a hurry," general manager Larry Riley said. "He'll make you scratch your head. We've got six more games, so we'll see what happens."

The Warriors currently have one more roster spot open and it's unclear whether Adrien will stick. But Adrien's output so far maybe something to keep an eye on tonight as he battles for that final position. The matchup of big man rookies, Adrien versus DeMarcus Cousins, could be interesting for what could have been. Watching DeMarcus Cousins try to dribble behind is back with three Warriors swarming in front, side, and back of him (resulting in a turnover and a fast break on the other end) makes you both salivate and sigh in relief. How the Warriors defend against DeMarcus Cousins could be a barometer for how they might fare against the bigger men in the league.

Like Lin, Adrien looks like he's close to becoming another fan favorite and could possibly fill a major priority on this team: defense.  

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