Couldn’t make shots. Didn’t rebound well. And all too often treated the ball as if it were greased.
The Super Warriors, so hyped and hunted, played the kind of arrhythmic hoops befitting a group with its heads barely out of the eggshell.
The Warriors’ preseason opener, a 97-93 loss to the Raptors on Saturday night in Vancouver, was visual evidence that their evolution will require considerable time and effort and, above all, an on-court comfort level that can’t be generated in six hours – roughly the amount of their practice time thus far.
“We looked like a team that had had four days of practice,” coach Steve Kerr said, acknowledging the number of days since training camp opened. “It’s about what I expected.”
With world-class shooters like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and new arrival Kevin Durant, the shots eventually are going to fall. The rebounds are going to come, too. But top-end potential of this team is tied mostly to its progress as a unit.
If they’re able to balance their flair with care and precision, surpassing the 70-win mark is realistic.
If they’re can’t find that symmetry, well, reaching 60 wins is going to require some improvisational brilliance, which they have that talent to deliver.
There was little sign of it Saturday, as the holy trinity of 3-point shooters combined to shoot 6-of-20 from deep and 9-of-28 overall. They accounted for six of the team’s 19 assists but also five of its 22 turnovers.
“The turnovers were a little disconcerting because so many of them were unforced,” Kerr said.
“We need to cut that down, game by game,” Thompson said. “We need to figure out how to play with each other. Lucky for us, we have (six more preseason games), so we can really get our feet set before we start running.
“We still have a lot of room to grow. It’s only October 1st, so we’ve got to look at the big picture and not get too worried about one loss.”
The Warriors shot 39.3 percent (33 of 84) from the field and were clobbered on the glass, 58-42.
The one bright spot was rookie guard Patrick McCaw, who came off the bench for 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, adding five assists and four steals in 22 minutes.
“He has a nice feel,” Durant said. “He works extremely hard and he’s got a lot of patience out there. That’s rare for a rookie. I’m excited about him.”